Ethics professor Julie Ponesse: Don’t give up your rights!



Ethics professor Julie Ponesse: Don’t give up your rights!

22.12.2021 |

Dr. Julie Ponesse is a professor of ethics and has taught at Huron University College in Ontario, Canada for 20 years. Because she did not get vaccinated against Covid19, she was fired and banned from the university’s campus. She gave an impressive speech for the Canadian network initiative “The Democracy fund” on October 28, 2021. Transcription Think back to a couple of years ago—fall 2019, let’s say. What were you doing then? What was your life like? What did you care about? What did you most fear? What DID YOU IMAGINE ABOUT the FUTURE? That’s the person I would like to talk to for the next 15 minutes, + I’ll begin with my own story: At the end I’ll have a FAVOUR to ask plus a little SECRET to share. In the fall of 2019, I was a professor of ethics and ancient philosophy; I taught students critical thinking + the importance of self-reflection, how to ask good questions and evaluate evidence, how to learn from the past and why democracy requires civic virtue. Fast forward to September 16, 2021 when I received a “termination with cause” letter after I questioned, and refused to comply, with my employer’s vaccine mandate. I was dismissed for doing exactly what I had been hired to do. I was a professor of ethics questioning what I take to be an unethical demand. You don’t have to look very hard to see the irony. Canada is governed by laws which are based on ethics. You could say that ethics are the bedrock beneath our democracy. “The right to determine what shall or shall not be done with one’s own body, and to be free from non-consensual medical treatment, is a right deeply rooted in our common law.” These aren’t my words; they are the words of Justice Sydney Robins of the Ontario Court of Appeal. With very few exceptions, each person’s body is considered inviolate in Canadian law, and this is the underlying ethos of the Nuremberg Code, a promise to humanity that we would never again endorse uninformed, non-voluntary medical decision-making, even for the patient’s own good, even for the sake of the public good. By definition, vaccine mandates are coercive immunization strategies: in the absence of coercion — the threat of a loss of employment,

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