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Taranaki doctor Peter Canaday accused of peddling Covid-19 misinformation committed professional misconduct

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A doctor who was suspended from practising after complaints that he was spreading Covid-19 and vaccine falsehoods has been found to have committed professional misconduct.

Dr Peter Canaday, a former radiologist with the Taranaki District Health Board, faced charges relating to a radio interview and two online presentations he gave in 2021 about the pandemic and the country’s vaccine rollout.

A finding by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, released today, says Canaday told viewers there was a link between the vaccine and sterility, miscarriages, and deaths.

He also claimed other Covid-19 treatments had been suppressed in favour of the Pfizer vaccine, which he described as an “experimental biological agent”.

The tribunal decision found aspects of the charge against Canaday were “not individually proven to be professional misconduct, but when considered cumulatively could amount to professional misconduct”.

Dr Peter Canaday faced a charge of professional misconduct. Photo / LinkedIn
Dr Peter Canaday faced a charge of professional misconduct. Photo / LinkedIn

In a hearing last year, the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) appointed by the Medical Council, brought the charge during a five-day hearing in New Plymouth.

The hearing heard that in July 2021, Canaday appeared on a community radio station in Raglan. That same month, he was featured in an online presentation entitled Courageous Convos: Dr Peter Canaday, and the following month in another named Covid-19 and the Pfizer vaccine: Fact or Fantasy?

The report found Canaday told viewers there was a link between the vaccine and sterility, and deaths.

“I mean, we’re talking about potential sterility here, and, you know, and we’re talking about the elimination of – the potential of having large numbers of deaths from these vaccines …”

The tribunal also heard Canaday recommended the animal deworming drug Ivermectin as an effective treatment for Covid-19.

In today’s ruling, the tribunal acknowledged Canaday’s freedom to express his opinion but found the way he had expressed the information to the public was careless.

“His position as a medical practitioner gave credibility to his statements and he owed his audience more balance in his opinions.”

It also found Canaday used information from the United States that was not balanced with data from New Zealand, which tended to mislead people about the vaccine’s mortality rate.

“In making recommendations of other effective Covid-19 preventative measures, the doctor was disparaging of other health practitioners.”

The tribunal also found that Canaday drew a link between the Pfizer vaccine and deaths that were unprofessional and emotive.

“It was conduct that is likely to bring discredit to the profession. In doing so, the doctor overstated his ability to provide informed advice on the treatment of Covid-19.”

The tribunal was satisfied Canaday’s inference that the Pfizer vaccine was being favoured over other Covid-19 treatments was likely to undermine public confidence in the Pfizer vaccine.

“His statements concerning graphene oxide also lacked evidential foundation and were presented uncritically.

“When considered as a whole, the tribunal is satisfied that the established particulars cumulatively amount to conduct likely to bring discredit to the profession … and are sufficiently serious to warrant a disciplinary sanction. Therefore, the test for professional misconduct is met.”

Canaday, who retired in 2021 but still carries a practising certificate, was one of the first doctors to be suspended for Covid-19 misinformation in New Zealand.

The tribunal is yet to consider a penalty.

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