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Covid 19: Widening divisions will take time to heal

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 14 January 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n96

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Re: Covid 19: The trampling of Human Rights may never heal

Dear Editor

The WHO has stated that they, ”do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus…. it seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition”(i). The consequences of ‘lockdown’ may therefore include loss of life, contravening Article 2 of the Human Rights Act 1998, which states, “Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law”.

Part I: Article 3: ”No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Detaining old people in care homes against their will and prohibiting them from seeing or touching their loved ones, amounts to inhuman treatment and psychological torture. Social isolation is well documented to cause psychological damage (ii). The same applies to hospitalised patients who are kept apart from those whose presence would otherwise contribute to their recovery. Withholding medical services from patients suffering from cancer and other serious diseases also constitutes inhuman treatment. Terrifying the population with ever-changing death narratives via the mainstream media inevitably predisposes to mental ill-health problems amongst those of the general public who believe what they see and hear (iii).

Article 5: “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty….except for the lawful detention of persons for the prevention of the spreading of infectious diseases”. This clearly presupposes that the detained individual is sick with an infectious disease as opposed to healthy and asymptomatic, from whom transmission has been described by the WHO as, “very rare” (iv) (v). Healthy individuals have been kept under house arrest despite showing no evidence of a transmissible disease and having committed no crime.

Article 8: “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence”. Preventing family members from meeting each other is a breach of their human rights, since where is the conclusive evidence that healthy individuals pose a threat to each other and society? And where are the risk assessments as to both consequences and proportionality?

Article 9: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance”. The enforced closure of places of worship, and rules prohibiting singing and gathering in community, contravene these rights, whilst other venues such as supermarkets and pet shops are not subject to the same rules.

Article 10: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers”. The censoring of views, especially views of respected medical experts and discussion of legitimate and relevant matters pertaining to ‘covid’ treatments and vaccination, in the mainstream media, social media and in public places, infringes this right (vi).

Article 11: “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others”. In the absence of clear scientific evidence, the unprecedented quarantining of healthy individuals infringes their rights, particularly when the government stated that, “As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK” (vii).

Article 12: “Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family”. ‘Lockdown’ prevents men and women meeting each other and forming normal relationships thereby infringing their right to found a family (viii).

Article 14: “The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground”. Individuals with serious illnesses have had their treatments postponed or denied in favour of filling hospital beds with ‘covid’ patients. This is discrimination on the grounds of diagnosis. An unreliable PCR test is therefore being used as a tool to discriminate between those who are entitled to treatment and those who are not, regardless of the consequences for their health (ix).

Article 17: “Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein”. The government, therefore, abuses the rights of individuals by arbitrarily establishing rules which infringe the Articles described.

Part II, Article 2: “No person shall be denied the right to education”. Closing schools when children are not at risk from the virus denies them the right to education, especially since some parents may not be equipped to provide the conditions or skills for home schooling. This includes discrimination in favour of the children of so-called ‘key workers’ who alone were permitted to attend school.

Part III: Article 1 of the Thirteenth Protocol: “Abolition of the death penalty”. If ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ (DNR) notices are attached to patients without their informed consent or following the coerced consent of their next of kin or carer, this may be interpreted as a death sentence without appeal (x). Similarly, if elderly patients are returned to care homes before their hospital inpatient treatment is complete in order to make way for younger ‘covid’ patients, or, if there was a refusal by doctors to admit elderly patients to hospital, that may effectively amount to a death sentence for some very sick individuals. Euthanasia is illegal in the UK.

The author is not a lawyer. There may be nuances of statute law which offer a different interpretation. However, from the standpoint of living men and women, and according to Natural Law, “Every child born is endowed with unalienable liberties that no authority, law, government or religion can diminish or abolish. Any power that attempts to do so is tyrannical and illegitimate, even if it operates under its own laws”. And, similarly, “Under Common Law, all citizens, including the highest-ranking officials of the government, are subject to the same set of laws, and the exercise of government power is limited by those laws (xi).

(i) Wall E. WHO condemn lockdowns and say they ‘only make poor people poorer’. 2020 10 Oct.
(ii) McAndrew FT. The Perils of Social Isolation. Psychology Today 2016 Nov 20.
(vi) Jacklin N. What Does the London Arrest of Dr Heiko Schoning Mean? Principia Scientifica International 2020 Oct 6.
(x) Hickey S. Nurse lifts lid on "despicable" DNR practice in hospitals during Covid-19 peak. LBC 2020 Aug 24.

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 January 2021
Janet Menage
GP retired
Wales, UK