Anti-vaccination activists criticised for filming rant about Tauranga Hospital
Anti-vaccination campaigners have been slammed for filming an 'inflammatory' interview inside Tauranga Hospital.
Polly Tommey, the co-producer of controversial documentary Vaxxed, shot the interview with Sarah Cox, a parent who claims her son was injured by a vaccine and who has criticised the New Zealand health care system and accused it of nearly putting her son in a coffin.
The clip has drawn strong criticism from Dr Lance O'Sullivan, who compared it to an atheist going into a church and lecturing worshippers why God isn't real.
Bay of Plenty District Health Board medical director Hugh Lees said they were unaware of the filming, and did not condone it.
Tommey is touring New Zealand talking to people who believe their children were injured by vaccinations, and attended screenings of Vaxxed. There were two screenings at Te Papa in Wellington on Saturday.
In the video posted online, Tommey talks to Cox about her now 20-year old-son Jake becoming sick after he was vaccinated. Cox was being treated in Tauranga Hospital for a broken leg.
"Funnily enough, I am in the hospital that actually turned Jacob down. This is really freaking me out. This hospital, Bay of Plenty DHB, nearly put Jake in a coffin," Cox said in the video, which was posted to the We Are Vaxxed's Facebook video.
"The whole system in New Zealand completely said no to any kind of care.
"Anyway, let's not pick on the Bay of Plenty DHB because I'm in here having surgery next week."
Cox had planned to go on tour with Tommey this week after planning it for 18 months. She said she had been on the way to pick up Tommey when she fell and broke a leg and landed in hospital.
Lance O'Sullivan, who was heckled by anti-vaxxers during a talk in Tauranga this week, said it was wrong to film the message in hospital. He said spreading messages that could cause harm or death to people "should be considered a crime".
"I'm not surprised but disappointed that they are still propagating this information in really inappropriate places.
"It's like having this position of being an atheist and going into a church and holding a lecture on why Christ is a myth or why Christ is fiction. It's so inflammatory, it's so wrong.
"What is acceptable for freedom of speech and what's dangerous? Now this is dangerous. We should really put some rules around this.
"That's allowing people to be reckless with the very important privilege of freedom of speech."
Tommey has been banned from entering Australia for three years for spreading anti-vaccination messages.
Cox said as a taxpayer she was within her rights to talk anywhere about anything harming her child.
"We're not going to stop."
- Sunday Star Times