Dutton vs Whistleblowers

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The final vote on the lifesaving Medevac legislation is just three weeks away. And Peter Dutton is so desperate to tear it down he's resorted to outright lies in a talkback radio offensive.

Dutton is proclaiming that war veterans are opposed to Medevac1 and insisting that the previous offshore medical process – which saw 12 refugees die – was just fine.2

These blatant untruths come from a frantic Government trying to get crucial cross-bench Senators like veteran-supporter Jacqui Lambie to vote against Medevac.

So while the Government dominates talkback and tabloids in a bid to deceive the everyday punter, we're going straight to TV with the truth.

Over the last six years, dozens of Australian doctors and nurses defied Dutton's Border Force Act and blew the whistle on what they saw inside the offshore detention centres.

Now for the first time, these whistleblowers, led by former Nauru Senior Medical Officer and veteran Dr Nick Martin, are coming together to expose Dutton's lies. And we need to make sure everyone hears their message loud and clear.

If enough of us chip in, we can beam the voices of these brave medical whistleblowers into lounge rooms across the country from Devonport to Darwin. Because if there's one thing that matters most to the crucial Senators with the deciding Medevac vote, it's the views of ordinary people outside the 'Canberra bubble'.

Can you chip in $12 and fund a huge TV ad blitz broadcasting the authoritative voice of Dr Nick Martin along with his colleagues exposing the truth about Dutton's Medevac lies?

"Every clinical decision was questioned by a non-medic."3

Those are the words of Dr Nick Martin, former Surgeon Lieutenant commander with the British Royal Navy, when he blew the whistle on ABC's 7.30 Report in 2017 after working as the Senior Medical Officer on Nauru.4

His voice, along with dozens of other medical whistleblowers who fought the Government to get basic medical treatment for their patients, resulted in former President of the Australian Medical Association and Member for Wentworth Dr Kerryn Phelps spearheading the passage of the Medevac Bill earlier this year.

The aim of Medevac was clear – doctors, not politicians, should make clinical decisions for their patients.

But this core medical ethic proved too much for Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Scott Morrison – they swore to repeal the Medevac Bill post-election.5

The only way to save Medevac now is to convince crucial cross-bench Senators that they – and the people they represent – believe in the medical decisions of doctors, not politicians.

But with Dutton commanding the likes of 2GB radio and the front pages of NewsCorp tabloids – the voice of Dr Martin and his medical colleagues are being swamped by the Government's lies.

With this powerful ad, we can change that.

Can you chip in $12 and fund a hard-hitting national TV ad featuring medical whistleblowers explaining why Medevac saves lives?

To get #KidsOffNauru, our movement made sure it was the voices of leading pediatricians that dominated.

When the Medevac Bill was being debated and voted on last year, we amplified calls from Australia's widely respected medical colleges and nearly 7000 doctors to #BackTheBill.

Now, as the fate of Medevac hangs in the balance we need to make sure medical whistleblowers – who know exactly how devastating tearing down this law would be – are heard loud and clear.

Because it should be doctors, not Dutton, making medical decisions for refugee patients. And we'll fight to the end to keep it that way.

In determination,

Shen, Renaire and Naz for the GetUp team

References:
[1] Peter Dutton tells Lambie that war veterans want medevac laws scrapped, The Guardian, 17 October 2019.
[2] Coalition digs in over refugee transfers, AAP via Nine News, 14 October 2019.
[3 ] 'Every clinical decision questioned': Doctor accuses Border Force of exerting political influence on Nauru, ABC, 31 October 2017.
[4] Doctor on Nauru says his medical decisions about asylum seekers were repeatedly ignored, ABC, 31 October 2017.
[5] Morrison's promise to repeal refugee medical transfer bill faces Senate block, Sydney Morning Herald, 20 May 2019.
 
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