French anti-mask doctor suspended for five months

The lung doctor was suspended after refusing to wear a mask when examining patients, in the same week as a controversial French professor was admitted to psychiatric hospital

13 December 2020
By Hannah Thompson

An anti-mask doctor in Lyon has been banned from practising medicine for five months for “reasons of public health”, in the same week as another controversial doctor was admitted to a psychiatric unit.

Health body l’Agence régionale de santé (ARS) Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes decided that the temporary five-month suspension of the lung specialist Dr. Patrick Bellier was “for the sake of public health”.

It announced the decision on Friday December 11.

Dr Bellier refused to wear a mask while working, and also declined to examine patients who were wearing one.

The five month suspension came into force from December 8, “starting from the day on which the doctor was made aware” of the decision, the ARS said.

The ARS said that the decision was “a precautionary measure” pending a ruling from the disciplinary panel of the doctors council l’Ordre des médecins - which the ARS has brought onto the case - as well as a ruling from the departmental medical council le Conseil départemental de l'Ordre des médecins (CDOM) du Rhône.

Contacted by the Agence France-Presse after the decision, Dr Bellier said: “I am banned from practising for five months because I refuse to wear a mask. Welcome to the Macron dictatorship!”

At the time of his initial summons before the CDOM in September, he said: “I am a lung doctor, I have to see people’s heads! I am not an extremist, but wearing a mask is useless and it drives me crazy.”

When Dr Bellier did not change his behaviour after warning from the CDOM, the council asked the ARS to intervene, “so that a measure could be enacted quickly”.

 

Another controversial Covid-19 doctor

The decision on Dr Bellier comes as another controversial doctor, Professor Jean-Bernard Fourtillan, has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital in the Gard.

Dozens of people gathered outside the Mas Careiron psychiatric hospital in Uzès on Saturday December 12, to show their support for the professor. Most were not wearing masks.

They chanted: “Libérez Fourtillan (Free Fourtillan)”, and one protester said that they were simply “seeking more information” and to “show solidarity...for people who have a free spirit and who have done things for others, and have had the courage to stand up to big institutions”.

Professor Fourtillan was recently interviewed as an expert in pharmacology and toxicology as part of the TV documentary Hold Up, on which he supported some conspiracy theories surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among his allegations - which have been discredited - include the suggestion that the medical research unit Institut Pasteur created the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

However, the Nimes prosecutor has said that these allegations are not directly linked to the professor’s admission to the hospital.

Instead, the admission happened after an investigation judge issued a warrant for the professor’s arrest, and a medical examination was carried out as part of this process. After which, it was decided that Professor Fourtillan should be admitted.

The professor’s supporters said that the decision was proof of “a corrupt government” and showed that Paris was “under the control of laboratories”.

One supporter said that the decision was “unfounded”, and designed to “quieten someone who is totally sound of mind, but who is annoying people through his words and his work, which do not reflect the official line of medical and other methods to fight Covid-19”.

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Three theories on Covid-19 origins and its link with Lyon

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