Therapists for Medical Freedom
Therapists for Medical Freedom (TMF) is a collective of Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists and associated therapeutic professionals.
We are deeply concerned about the growing use of medical coercion and the loss of civil liberties as part of the international response to managing COVID-19.
We also believe that, as psychological therapists, it is now our ethical duty to stand up for the emotional health of the population. We are challenging the restrictions and psychological fear campaigns, as these are disproportionately harming the most vulnerable in our society.
TMF are firmly opposed to the proposed introduction of ‘vaccine passports’, ‘jab-for-job’ policies, or any type of mandatory vaccination programme as part of our public health response to COVID-19. We are committed to defending the values of bodily autonomy, informed consent, and medical freedom.
We believe that the extended use of social distancing restrictions, lack of face-to-face support, mask mandates and psychological fear messaging are actively damaging the mental and physical health of the population. The statistics on this are clear. Levels of addiction, suicide, domestic violence, fear, loneliness, self-harm, social division and mental health difficulties are at an all-time high. Vulnerable people not only seem to be at an increased risk from COVID-19, but they are also being disproportionately harmed by the continued restrictions to our lives.
As we move towards another COVID–19 winter, it is clear that the measures to supposedly keep us ‘safe’ are no longer a short-term emergency response to a crisis, and that the vaccination programme is not the magic bullet we once hoped for.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and government officials are now openly suggesting that lockdowns, social distancing restrictions, masking and vaccine mandates could be in place for years to come. If this is the case, there is now ample evidence to suggest that the impact on human health, social connection and civil liberties would be utterly devastating.
We believe that in this context, as psychological therapists, it is now our ethical duty to ask difficult questions about the continuing use of such drastic public health interventions and to rigorously assess their evidence base and efficacy.
It is time to reconnect with our professional authority and to contribute more actively to the UK’s pandemic response strategy.
We are calling for therapists of all backgrounds and modalities to take part in a rigorous ethical debate about the current approach to managing the pandemic. This must go beyond discussing the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the risks it poses to human health.
It is time for a much fuller risk assessment of the current pandemic response, and a detailed cost/benefit analysis of these public health interventions. This must comprehensively factor in the harm they are causing at both an individual and community level. It must also include an open exploration of potential alternative responses which may have a less damaging impact.
We are also calling for a more robust and open debate about the vaccination programme, given the unprecedented impact on human rights that measures such as vaccine passports or mandated vaccines could have. We believe that it is vital to ask difficult questions about the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines, especially as they are now being mandated with increasing force.
Now is not a time for silencing dissent. We are concerned about the number of scientists, researchers and health professionals who oppose the social distancing measures or have concerns about the safety of the vaccines, but whose voices, and alternative solutions, are being silenced from public debate.
As therapeutic practictioners, we believe it is our ethical duty to look at the risks that are play in the total situation, and to move away from fixating on a single risk at the expense of all others. We need to take time to allow open discussion and space for reflection on these huge social changes that are proposed. We must at least consider the possibility that the proposed cures could be more dangerous and damaging than the virus itself.
As a collective, we respect each other’s individual choices about the medical decisions we have made over the pandemic. We are made up of therapists who have chosen to take the vaccine, those who have chosen not to, and those who are still uncertain. We refuse to be polarised or divided on this issue. Instead, we work together to defend the values of bodily autonomy, informed consent and medical freedom, and to protect these as precious human rights.
Our primary aim is to facilitate an open and free discussion about the current situation within our profession and our wider communities – and to hold space for the difficult questions and conversations that people are finding hard to openly discuss in the current climate.
We will not allow ourselves to be shamed or silenced for asking reasonable questions and raising ethical concerns about the impact of these unprecedented social shifts that are happening all around us.
Concern for Social Justice
We are motivated in our campaigning by a deep concern for social justice and the impact that the government’s COVID-19 response is having on the most vulnerable in our society.
We believe that if we are truly ‘all in this together’, we must do more to listen to the voices of those who are being most negatively affected by the loss of civil liberties and medical freedom. We must accept that the UK’s current pandemic response is affecting people very differently depending on their level of social affluence and financial security.
Across the UK, many marginalised and vulnerable people, including children and young people, are already at breaking point. Their human rights and freedoms must be considered and protected in the development of a more humane, evidence-based, long-term response strategy.
Affiliations & Partnerships