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Sanford Doctor Cites Wife’s False Googling to Protesting Covid Vaccine

While protesting his employer’s coronavirus vaccine mandate in July, Sanford eye doctor and Paul TenHaken donor Mick Vanden Bosch said, “I’m not against the vaccine per se, although I have my issues… I’m against mandating it.”

At another dreary rally of selfish and misinforming malcontents in Sioux Falls yesterday, Dr. Vanden Bosch straight up said he considers the covid-19 vaccines “dangerous” and explained how he came to a conclusion contraindicated by all medical evidence:

The crowd Tuesday did include some Sanford Health employees, most notably a man dressed in a white lab coat, wearing his Sanford Health ID badge.

The man, Dr. Mick Vanden Bosch, an ophthalmologist with Sanford Health, said he was joining the rally to lend credibility to their protest, like he’s done at previous, similar events.

He said he believes the COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous. That’s despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, broad approval of the vaccine from the scientific and medical communities and the endorsement of the Food and Drug Administration, whose approval process is considered the gold standard worldwide.

Vanden Bosch said he gets most of what he believes about COVID-19 vaccines from his wife, a stay-at-home mom and a nurse by training who has spent “a lot of time” researching the topic online, he said [Jeremy Fugleberg, “Group Protests Against Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates Across from Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls,” Fargo InForum, 2021.09.14].

So Vanden Bosch comes in his uniform and badge, deliberately using his employer’s ID while skipping work to give credence to falsehoods, yet he bases his false claims not on his own medical experience or expertise but on his wife’s Googling.

Dr. Vanden Bosch was appending the title of “Doctor” to his name and professing publicly to be a physician. Under SDCL 36-4-9, that simple act constitutes practicing medicine.

Under SDCL 36-4-29, the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners may cancel, revoke, suspend, or limit the license of any physician who engages in unprofessional or dishonorable conduct. SDCL 36-4-30 defines several actions as unprofessional conduct, including “(22) Any practice or conduct which tends to constitute a danger to the health, welfare, or safety of the public or patients or engaging in conduct which is unbecoming a person licensed to practice medicine.”

Using one’s medical title to spread false information based on uncited and unreliable sources that endangers the health of the public and one’s own patients sound unbecoming to me.

Dr. Vanden Bosch also appears to be violating the Principles of Medical Ethics adopted by the American Medical Association, which states that physicians “shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions,” “continue to study, apply, and advance scientific knowledge”, “make relevant information available to patients, colleagues, and the public,” and “recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.” Uncited hearsay Googling doesn’t constitute professional study or relevant information. Telling lies at an anti-vax protest under the color of medical license is dishonesty in a professional interaction that undermines public health and the profession.

Vaccines aren’t dangerous. Unprofessional doctors like Mick Vanden Bosch are. It’s time for some professional discipline against this lying doctor.

16 Comments

  1. kurtz 2021-09-15

    This interview is from SDPB’s daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

    Active COVID-19 cases in South Dakota continue to rise, and 215 people are currently hospitalized. Dr. Joshua Crabtree is with Sanford Health. He says unvaccinated people make up the vast majority of newly reported deaths and hospitalizations.

    “I’m talking 90% of those that are hospitalized, in the ICU and ventilated would be unvaccinated.” He says disinformation and misinformation are slowing the pace of vaccinations.

    “You can trust it. The vaccine has been given more than 4.5 billion times around the world with minimal reactions, let alone severe reactions to that.”

    Crabtree expects case numbers to peak in the Sioux Falls region near the end of September/early October.

    The South Dakota Department of Health says the more the virus that causes COVID-19 circulates in a community, the more opportunities it has to transform into variants that can spread more easily. They say the best way to stop the spread and further mutation of the coronavirus is by getting vaccinated.

    https://listen.sdpb.org/healthcare/2021-09-14/sanford-doctor-90-percent-of-hospitalized-covid-patients-are-not-vaccinated

  2. O 2021-09-15

    John Dale, I did my own googling of your “censored information.” Here is the link you ought to post after your misinformation that debunks your doctor’s claims: https://www.bbc.com/news/53525002.

    For the record, disregarding or dismissing false information is not “censoring.”

  3. Anne 2021-09-15

    “Ignornace, Hysteria, and Profits” Driving Covid Phenomenon

    That’s the headline with which Mr. Dale demonstrates his level of competence.

  4. sx123 2021-09-15

    There are a couple different ways to ‘research online’…

    Facebook, news sites, and general google searches are probably the main sources of ‘research’ for most people.

    And then there is reading scientific papers. I have a hunch most people don’t go this route, unfortunately.

  5. Mark Anderson 2021-09-15

    Just check the American Medical Association site to look up anything on covid. You can go to the CDC also. It so much better than the tiny, tiny group of loonie toons that John Dale misinforms with. There are many fools who pretending freedom who say they don’t care about your health, and not wearing a mask is more important. The California vote was the vote of the overwhelmingly vaccinated majority against the misinformed. It was an almost two to one victory. Sanity and science prevailed.

  6. Donald Pay 2021-09-15

    There’s a certain religious aspect to anti-vaccine hysteria. It requires a lot of faith to believe crackpot theories about vaccines and vaccinations put out by modern snake oil salesmen and faith healers. Human brains are almost infinitely malleable. They can be turned to great things, like science and art, to evil, like Nazism and to foolish endeavors, like ivermectin or grizzly milk and rattlesnake piss as cure-alls.

    When I was a kid, I used to love the Oral Roberts TV broadcasts. My brother and I would tune in religiously and watch the quack preacher “cure” some poor soul of his limp. It was a comedy show, wasn’t it? After the show, one of us would play the good preacher and the other would be the poor afflicted gimp. Even as kids we could tell a fake from our kindly Doctor Anderson. It came as a shock that some actually believed that stuff.

    I realize that before vaccination become established as standard medical practice, or even now for new vaccines, there is a certain amount of faith placed in it by those who are the first guinea pigs. Any new medicine has to go through a phase of scientific testing, Not everything is known about the efficacy and side effects of any new drug or vaccine. In my community, we have several local businesses and medical institutions who take volunteers for such tests, and one of the vaccines tested here was the Moderna covid vaccine.

    I have to say when I got vaccinated in February, I was a bit nervous about it, but I had followed the testing pretty closely and was sure that the vaccine wouldn’t kill me. And I knew that the virus could. It was a pretty easy decision. I expected some side effects, but was surprised to find they were mild to non-existent. As soon as the shot was in my arm I felt so thankful we had great scientists and medical professionals, rather than Oral Roberts or Donald Trump, leading us out of the covid pandemic. Too bad others don’t feel the same way. We could have had the pandemic under control if people didn’t listen to the snake oil salesmen.

  7. John 2021-09-15

    Doctors are too often loathe to sanction quack-acting pretenders like Vanden Bosch.
    He should never practice again. Consider filing your complaints.

  8. grudznick 2021-09-15

    Doctors and thieves, they both wear masks.

  9. John C 2021-09-15

    “Ignornace”, followed by a list of extremely vague “points” and random names without any institutional associations or journal citations?
    No, thanks.

  10. bearcreekbat 2021-09-15

    I too contemplate why some folks choose to trust claims from charlatans over generally accepted sources, such as the AMA or CDC. Why would any rational person accept information from sources generally considered unreliable?

    These anti-vaxers seem to be the same folks who generally demean and dehumanize immigrants. Could there be a connection?

    The existence of caste systems throughout the word indicate a need on the part of supporters to feel superior to other people. Most people who choose to dehumanize others, such as immigrants, have feelings of inferiority. If they can identify a group of people that they think are are even more inferior, however, in their minds this improves their own personal standing within their particular caste system.

    A personal caste system provides a possible reason why some folks filled with self doubt become anti-vaxers in an effort to develop a better image of themselves. If anti-vaxers were correct in their views just imagine how they might move up in their personal caste system. If they are right, then they are smarter than mainstream doctors, scientists, medical associations, governmental agencies, researchers, the mainstream media, and all other sources trusted by rational people. Rejecting information from these sources must be evidence that the anti-vaxers are actually geniuses and belong higher than almost everyone else on their personal caste system.

    And anti-vaxers get immediate gratification out of taking such odd stances. For example, for most adults the childhood fear of getting a shot is easily outweighed by a fear of serious illness and death without the shot. Rejecting the views of generally accepted sources, however, provides anti-vaxers two immediate rewards: it eliminates the fear of serious illness and death for themselves and others (if the coronavirus is a hoax and a lie then they won’t get other sick); and, it helps alleviate the insecurities of anti-vaxers by showing they are really smart people that belong on a very high level in their personal caste sytem.

  11. Tim Gebhart 2021-09-15

    Is Vanden Bosch’s clinic telling patients he isn’t vaccinated? I know I wasn’t informed before my eye exam in April. I complained to Sanford that I considered that failure a violation of my rights to choose a physician and informed consent. I certainly would have seen another opthomalogist had I known.

  12. kurtz 2021-09-15

    It’s good to see your byline again, Mr. Gebhart.

  13. Porter Lansing 2021-09-15

    🆘 From The United States of America Homeland Security Administration 🆘
    -A study found that Russian trolls and bots have been spreading false information about vaccination, in support of the anti-vaccination movement. —The false information was generated by propaganda and disinformation specialists at the Kremlin-affiliated, St. Petersburg-based IRA.
    -The Kremlin employed IRA to conduct a broad social media disinformation campaign to sow discord and deepen divisions in the United States, and help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

    https://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20190321-russian-trolls-bots-spread-false-vaccine-information-on-twitter

  14. kurtz 2021-09-15

    Most if not all christian nationalists believe vaccines created with fetal cell lines, despite that happening thousands of generations ago, give those of us who believe in the rights of women to control their own reproductive destinies just one more excuse to evacuate a uterus.

    It’s just that simple.

  15. PPNS 2021-09-15

    Mr. Gebhart – what was Sanford’s response to your complaint?

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