Did Britain secretly euthanise elderly to boost COVID-19 deaths?!

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Did the British government secretly euthanise elderly hospital patients to boost COVID-19 deaths?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Britain Secretly Euthanised Elderly To Boost COVID Deaths!

People are sharing an article (archive) by The People’s Voice (formerly NewsPunch), which claims or suggests that a new study showed that the British government secretly euthanised elderly hospital patients to boost COVID-19 deaths!

Here is an excerpt of the long and (intentionally?) rambling article. Feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

New Study: British Gov’t Secretly Euthanized Elderly Hospital Patients To Boost ‘Covid Deaths’

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Were Midazolam Deaths Falsely Blamed On COVID-19?!

 

Truth : Britain Did Not Euthanised Elderly To Boost COVID Deaths!

This is yet another example of fake news created / promoted by The People’s Voice, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Paper Was Preprint Article

Let me start by pointing out that the paper that are being quoted is an article called Excess Deaths in the United Kingdom: Midazolam and Euthanasia in the COVID-19 Pandemic by Wilson Sy – an investment analyst.

This article does not appear to have undergone peer review. It’s listed as a preprint on ResearchGate, and was accepted for publication in Medical & Clinical Research (which charges $3,916 for each paper) in less than a week:

Submitted : 20 Jan 2024
Accepted : 25 Jan 2024

While that does not mean its findings are necessarily wrong, such preprint papers should not be relied upon as “established information”. It very much needs to be investigated, analysed, and verified.

Even the peer-review process is merely the first step in the scientific review process, which would be followed by replication, verification, and criticism by other researchers.

Fact #2 : Paper Does Not Show Deaths Caused By Midazolam

You might expect that the paper would at least show evidence for tens of thousands of deaths that were caused by Midazolam. Unfortunately, it shows nothing of the sort.

Did it look at death certificates or medical records to determine that those deaths were caused by Midazolam, and not COVID-19? No, that would be far too much work…

All it appears to do is try and prove some kind of correlation between excess deaths and the number of Midazolam injections in the United Kingdom. And when it could not show a correlation, it adjusted the chart temporally by one month, and voilà! that looks like correlation!

The only problem is – Midazolam is a short-acting drug, with a half-life of just 1.5 to 2.5 hours. It cannot possibly kill someone one month after injection!

Not only does this paper not show that any of the deaths were actually caused by Midazolam, it does not even show any correlation between Midazolam usage and excess deaths in the UK!

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Fact #3 : Midazolam Is Used To Sedate Patients

Midazolam is infamous for being used to execute people sentenced to death, as well as an end-of-life medication. However, it has far more common and less morbid uses.

Midazolam is a short-acting benzodiazepine that is frequently used to sedate patients before they undergo surgeries, as well as medical /dental procedures. It is also used to treat prolonged seizures, or sedate agitated patients.

It is not surprising that Midazolam usage should spike during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it  is one of the two most commonly-used drugs used to sedate patients in the ICU. It is also used to sedate patients before they are intubated and placed on mechanical ventilation.

Many of us may forget, but many ICUs were overwhelmed with patients who had to be intubated and placed on mechanical ventilation during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, many hospital wards (and even parking lots!) were converted into temporary ICUs to accommodate the surge of patients requiring mechanical ventilation.

In fact, if you think about it – it makes sense for excess deaths to spike days, weeks, or months, after a spike in Midazolam usage. It would suggest that people were dying after receiving Midazolam while critically ill in the ICU, or being intubated for mechanical ventilation.

Fact #4 : Many Deaths From COVID-19 Were Confirmed

Just over 73,000 people died from COVID-19 in the United Kingdom in 2020, with the vast majority – 94.6% confirmed as “deaths due to COVID-19”.

Deaths listed as “Confirmed COVID-19” were confirmed through tests, while deaths that were clinically determined to be caused by COVID-19 were listed as “Suspected COVID-19” if no test was available at that time, or the test result was not conclusive (source).

Regardless of whether you believe that Midazolam had any hand in these deaths, one thing is for sure – the vast majority of these deaths were confirmed to have been caused by COVID-19.

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Were Midazolam Deaths Falsely Blamed On COVID-19?!

Fact #5 : Many Critially-Ill COVID-19 Patients Died

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many critically-ill patients had to be intubated and placed on mechanical ventilation as they could no longer breathe on their own. Midazolam is used to sedate such critically-ill patients, so its use would go up with the number of critically-ill patients being treated in the ICU, or placed on mechanical ventilation.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of patients on ventilator died, with some hospitals reporting mortality rates of 50% to 97%. An early report on the mortality of patients on ventilator at three hospitals in Georgia showed that approximately 30% of patients dying after being ventilated, and another 8.5% remaining on ventilation.

Just because many of those patients died while in the ICU or on mechanical ventilation does not mean that those machines, or the oxygen they provided, caused their deaths. It certainly does not mean that the Midazolam they received for sedation killed them.

Fact #6 : Euthanasia Is Illegal In United Kingdom

Finally, I should point out that both euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal throughout the United Kingdom, and can be prosecuted as murder or manslaughter.

Doctors in the UK can only assist their patients in hastening their deaths by withholding treatment and reducing pain, and even then, only when they feel that “death is only a few days away”.

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Midazolam Murders : Were deaths falsely blamed on COVID-19?!

Fact #7 : The People’s Voice Is Known For Publishing Fake News

The People’s Voice is the current name for NewsPunch, which possibly changed its name because its brand has been so thoroughly discredited after posting numerous shocking but fake stories.

Founded as Your News Wire in 2014, it was rebranded as NewsPunch in November 2018, before becoming The People’s Voice. A 2017 BuzzFeed report identified NewsPunch as the second-largest source of popular fake news on Facebook that year.

Its articles have been regularly debunked as fake news, so you should never share anything from NewsPunch / The People’s Voice.  Here are some of its fake stories that I fact checked earlier:

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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