AVN v HCCC: a new public warning

The public warning issued against the Australian Vaccination Network by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission was a fantastic little corner of the web. In one page, on official notepaper it said:

  • The AVN provides information that is solely anti-vaccination
  • Its site contains information that is incorrect and misleading
  • They quote selectively from research to suggest that vaccination may be dangerous
  • The information provided by the AVN should not be read as medical advice
  • The decision about whether or not to vaccinate should be made in consultation with a health care provider

Above all, the warning itself was a smackdown:

The Commission recognises that it is important for there to be debate on the issue of vaccination. However, the AVN provides information that is inaccurate and misleading.

The AVN’s failure to include a notice on its website of the nature recommended by the Commission may result in members of the public making improperly informed decisions about whether or not to vaccinate, and therefore poses a risk to public health and safety.

Because the page was so awesome, many bloggers and journalists linked to it when writing about the AVN. These links in turn signalled to search engines that the page was an important one for AVN-related searches. The upshot? Searching for the AVN, or ‘Australian Vaccination Network’ and a number of other related terms brought the Public Warning right up next to the AVN’s page.

A new warning

Of course, AVN v HCCC has meant the removal of that page. The Supreme Court of NSW held that the HCCC didn’t technically have the jurisdiction to issue the warning about the AVN based on the specific complaints. However, the content of the warning was fine: there was no suggestion that the findings of the HCCC were anything but accurate.

So Stop The AVN has issued its own public warning about the Australian Vaccination Network. The page neatly sums up the content of the  former Warning and the circumstances surrounding its genesis, removal and influence.

Bloggers, we need your help!

If you have links in your posts pointing to the old Public Warning: we would love it if you would point them to the new address.

Old URL: http://www.hccc.nsw.gov.au/Decisions/Public-Statements-and-Warnings/Public-warning-against-Australian-Vaccination-Network–AVN-/default.aspx

New URL: http://www.stopavn.com/public-warning-australian-vaccination-network-avn

If you write about the Australian Vaccination Network please include a link to the URL above. It helps us most if you include the words ‘Australian Vaccination Network’ in the text you link.

If you have a blogroll or list of links on your site, please add a link to the warning page!



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