Ontario nurse continues her battle for medical free speech against her regulator

Former Registered Practical Nurse Sarah Choujounian has been fighting to vindicate herself from the medical oppression and censorship imposed on her by her regulator, the College of Nurses of Ontario, for over a year.

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Nurse Sarah Choujounian was charged with twelve offences related to her advocacy efforts against the prevailing narrative of COVID-19 in October 2021, from denouncing mask mandates to vaccine passports and every harmful lockdown in between.

In a now-removed announcement from the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) titled “Nurses Supporting Public Health Measures,” a statement that was updated in September 2021, reads that “Public health protection measures, such as hand washing, masking, social distancing and vaccinations are effective strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Yet real-world data show that last clause to be not entirely true.

Regardless of the college’s misinformation, Choujounian has had a long and drawn-out battle to defend herself against her regulatory censors. The disciplinary tribunal hearings against her began over a year ago, in March 2023 and remain ongoing with no end in sight.

Choujounian's 18th hearing day occurred on Thursday, May 16 with virologist and immunologist Byram Bridle serving as an expert witness.

“My case is at the point where all of the 12 allegations are kind of known to be true,” says Choujounian. “They keep saying that I had no way of knowing in 2020 and therefore that was misinformation and I harmed the public by [speaking out].”

Choujounian says that the hearings, originally slated for seven days, have pitted her experts against the college's. “What's happening is that they’re not qualifying my experts,” she says, which makes bringing evidence forward more difficult.

To add insult to injury, Choujounian calls the CNO's cross-examinations of her experts “harsh” and “defamatory,” effectively disqualifying her experts from being able to represent her on all 12 allegations. Even when testimony is allowed, she says that the college objects incessantly.

“They’re dragging it out,” she claims. “They dragged it out so much with their [side] but now that it’s my experts, they say we need to hurry up and finish this. It’s like they want to rush it, but that’s impossible.”

The main topic of discussion at the 18th hearing date was that Choujounian claimed the miraculous injections brought to market through expedited authorization had no long-term safety data to back up their safety and efficacy, something she says providing evidence for has been corrupted because of the CNO’s rigamarole.

She refers to the CNO’s behaviour as gaslighting.

“It's so corrupt because in nursing school, the first thing that we learned in ethics class is that when the industry turns against the people, it's our job to agitate and advocate against what's going on to protect our communities. And so I'm doing exactly what I was supposed to do. And it's now known that I didn't mislead people, yet I'm still being punished because I went against them and that's not what their narrative is. Their narrative is that all [the pandemic response] was [done] very well."

Intimidation is another tactic Chounjounian says makes it difficult for others to stand up to the CNO, especially when combined with the financial ruin that comes alongside these kinds of investigations.

Regardless, Chounjounian says that her case will set a precedent for freedom of speech in nursing and urges people to support her legal efforts.

“It's an investment in the future of our children and the future generations,” she explains. “I'm not doing it for me because I'm not going to work for that industry anymore. But I think it's very important to hold them accountable because they are the ones that are responsible for protecting the public.”

Choujounian has a GiveSendGo crowdfunding page dedicated to her efforts. Her next hearing date is slated for May 31 and those interested in watching need to register with [email protected] a day in advance.

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