You may have heard of Dr Jereth Kok.
He was a hard-working and much-loved Melbourne Christian family doctor with a wife and two children.
Then last year, the Medical Board of Australia suspended him indefinitely. Two people – not his patients and unknown to him – had made anonymous complaints about his social media posts, along with an article in the Christian newspaper Eternity.
The Board took three months to investigate, paying people to trawl through years of his online articles and comments, before giving him less than a week to prepare his response.
Following his suspension, he appealed to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), but it upheld the Board’s decision.
His indefinite suspension means he cannot practise as a doctor. He has no income, and his patients must go elsewhere.
Last April, Toowoomba GP Dr David van Gend wrote about this extraordinary miscarriage of justice. Among other things, Dr Kok was accused of racism and “endorsing genocide” in a comment he posted on a Christian blog. In reality, he did the opposite. Dr van Gend said (in part):
Free speech is one thing; incitement to violence is another. If Melbourne GP Jereth Kok has used social media to endorse genocide, then the decision by the Medical Board of Australia to suspend his registration is justified. If he has done no such thing, then the Board has acted disgracefully, wrongfully defaming Dr Kok and destroying his medical career.
We can judge for ourselves which is the guilty party.
Below is the only post in which Dr Kok refers to genocide. Context is everything.
Kok is commenting in 2012 on an article by Christian social commentator Bill Muehlenberg entitled, “When Aid Money becomes Killing Money”. Muehlenberg objected to the Australian Labor Government joining other Western governments in funding abortions in poor countries.
He argued that “what we really have is coercive utopians from the West working overtime to decimate the populations of poor overseas nations” and quoted a pro-life leader from the US characterising such policies as “population control aimed at poor dark-skinned women”.
The staunchly pro-life Dr Kok posted this bitterly ironic comment:
Thanks to “family planning”, developed nations (Europe, Japan, North America) are in steep decline and are facing an impending financial and economic crisis that comes with an aged population.
See for example what is happening in Japan: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12296077
Soon, our civilisations will be vanquished, and the Earth will be overrun by Black people. The solution is clear: we must take “family planning” to poor countries and exterminate them before it is too late!
Anybody with a reading age above 12 can tell, in context, that this is irony – a rhetorical device by which Kok scorns the decadent West for exporting its culture of death to poor countries.
The Medical Board, however, asserts the exact opposite: that Dr Kok’s comment is an endorsement of genocide!
Incredibly, the VCAT agrees. Kok’s reputation and career are trashed.
The Medical Board of Australia has gravely defamed this GP and owes him an immediate apology.
Friends and church family have helped Dr Kok, but life is tough. He is facing trial on misconduct charges, and will need funds for legal expenses when that time comes.
Please pray for him – especially for guidance about other ways to support his family. And pray for others undergoing similar ordeals.
We are facing increasing persecution – but be strong and of good courage. God is still on the throne.
Peter Downie - National Director