Doctor stood down for Whale Oil post now reinstated

A doctor, who had posted and commented at Whale Oil under the pseudonym MacDoctor for years, and was stood down from his job after a complaint was made about a post at Whale Oil about immigrants. He has now been reinstated after giving assurances about his online behaviour.

20 March (Stuff): Comments by doctor on Whaleoil blog spark complaint

An Auckland doctor has been stood down after a complaint about his posts on the Whaleoil blog.

Another doctor who wanted to remain anonymous, complained to the Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care. He said McVeagh, as MacDoctor, was making comments in a public form that were inappropriate for a medical professional.

He said McVeagh’s patients should know that he held such views, particularly if they were from the groups concerned. “I think it’s unacceptable as a medical practitioner to be writing these sorts of things, then going to see these patients.”

Westgate Medical Centre said McVeagh had been stood down while an investigation was conducted.

McVeagh had made comments on Whaleoil including suggesting homosexual people had usually been abused and that “transgenderism” was driven by a political agenda. He joked about Norway giving refugee status to cannibals.

McVeagh said his opinions were “just that, opinions”.

“They are  – I think – well-argued and reasonable in the main. I assume that the ‘complaint’ is from someone who disagrees with me.

He said the comments highlighted were made a couple of years ago.

“The … posts are general observations from my practice and reflect my experience. I treat my gay and transsexual patients with empathy and respect but I hold no love for people who use them to drive their own agendas…My opinions are mine and do not represent my place of work in any way, of course.”

22 March (Whale Oil): Wanted: Witchfinders

Don’t forget Macdoctor, whose comments on this blog have been sensible and level headed, but someone out there dislikes him enough to trawl through his comments from a couple of years ago (probably in response to a terrorist event somewhere) and have got him stood down, possibly fired.

We featured Macdoctor as Commenter of the Week last October, and here is one of his comments on the subject of immigration. I think you will agree that he is far from hateful, but rather thoughtful and believes we should follow due process, in immigration as in everything.

When haters abound, good people are shot down. Macdoctor is a victim of a personal vendetta, not a white supremacist.

When haters abound, good people are shot down. Macdoctor is a victim of a personal vendetta, not a white supremacist.

That doesn’t sound like a very thoughtful comment to me. It actually sounds like it could be quite inaccurate.

Guardian (3 October 2018): Manus Island refugees and asylum seekers petition PNG chief justice over ‘unfair’ delay

The petition, signed by 368 men and delivered in Port Moresby on Wednesday morning, stems back to the April 2016 supreme court ruling that the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island was unconstitutional and unlawful.

Asylum seekers and refugees have sought compensation and the opportunity to apply for PNG travel documents, which would allow resettlement in other countries.

We have been held in PNG for almost five years; six of us have died while we have been waiting. Our case was argued before the supreme court on 6 April 2018. It is now many months, we are waiting for our case to be finalised. For us, justice delayed is justice denied.

Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish Iranian journalist and refugee who has been on Manus Island for more than five years, said the group had been working with the court for years and was now asking for its “historic” ruling.

A number of the Manu Island refugees have been resettled in the United States.

From Whale Oil 9 February 2019 Sunday Roast – “Macdoctor spooned out the first helping of hangi cooked kumara.”

Once again. Colonization has brought Maori deliverance from genocide and cannibalism. It has brought them education, healthcare, modern conveniences and infrastructure. It has doubled their life-span. It has gifted them almost entire industries, large swathes of tourism and over-representation in places of power.

And what do they complain about? Land. Land that they scrabbled an existence out of by subsistence farming and hunter-gathering. Land that not one complainer could be stuffed to farm properly or make some other productive use out of. Give me strength.

From Whale Oil 9 March 2019 The Sunday RoastMacDoctor was also quick with his diagnosis of Peters’ pestilence:

What a vile creep. And surrounded by a pack of sycophantic laughing hyenas. And where was the Speaker? Laughing with his mates instead of reprimanding Peters.

So this is what “Kindness” looks like to the jackals we have running the country?

I’d certainly prefer not to have a doctor who had such wide intolerances of people.

29 March (NZ Doctor): MacDoctor cleared for work

Jim McVeagh’s employer has received assurances of his future online conduct.

“We have concluded that Dr McVeagh should return to work where he will continue to provide a vital service for the health and wellbeing of our community”.

I don’t know enough to judge whether standing him down was justified. It could have been imposed, or it could have been by mutual agreement to be seen to be addressing it.

Assurances and reinstatement seems a reasonable resolution.

This raised a number of issues, including professional versus private lives, posting on a prominent blog anonymously, searching through online history, and whether the standing down was appropriate or not.

I think that there is one important lesson from this. Many people have good reasons for posting and commenting under pseudonyms online, but whatever one says in public online should be regarded as potentially becoming identified. So only post things that you would be comfortable saying under your real name.

I haven’t seen the reinstatement mentioned at Whale Oil. Over the past couple of weeks they had run a series of posts (four) that said:  Whaleoil WARNING: Don’t let the MSM snoop on your private life


We currently advise commenters that due to a hysterical witch hunt led by the MSM that you all set your Disqus accounts to private for now.

My advice to Whale Oil – things you say can come back to bite you.

It has been common for a long time for various media – including Whale Oil – to publicise things that people had said online, so they should have been well aware of the risks that every author and commenter took.

And there is some major hypocrisy here – Slater was named as complainant in the private prosecutions of myself and others. This involved a lot of hysterical witch hunt type trawling through my posts (not just by Slater) in an effort to find something to convict and imprison me for. There are signs that this is still happening.

If you think that everything you say online you could happily stand by later in person then you have nothing to worry about.