British Columbia

B.C. doctor accused of spreading COVID-19 misinformation suspended from practice

An inquiry committee determined there would be a risk of harm to the public if Stephen Malthouse continues to practise at this time.

Dr. Stephen Malthouse has appeared at several anti-mask rallies, allegedly signed fake vaccine exemptions

Dr. Stephen Malthouse, a B.C. family physician shown here on Jan. 26, 2022, has been the subject of numerous complaints related to spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines. (Georgie Smyth/CBC)

A B.C. doctor known for spreading false information about COVID-19 and who has been linked to a website selling fake vaccine exemption certificates has been suspended from practising medicine.

An order issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia on March 24 prohibits Stephen Malthouse, a physician on Denman Island, B.C., from practice as the college investigates his actions. 

An inquiry committee determined there would be a risk of harm to the public if Malthouse continues to practise during the course of the investigation and says his conduct would likely persist without the suspension. 

The order can be cancelled if information arises that shows the public would no longer be at risk.

Malthouse, whose musings on the pandemic have gone viral in some circles, has repeatedly claimed that COVID-19 is no more deadly than the flu and that vaccines are more dangerous than the novel coronavirus.

He's publicized these scientifically unsupported ideas in videos, at rallies against public health measures and in open letters.

What appears to be his signature was allegedly found on a fake vaccine exemption linked to B.C.-based website

In January, Malthouse told CBC he signs the exemptions because people are being "coerced" into getting vaccinated.

"A lot of people are asking for exemptions to not get a very dangerous shot that does no good for them, and if they don't get it, they have a threat of losing their jobs. Families are being threatened. Really, I think doctors, under those circumstances, should be writing exemptions," he said.

Another B.C. doctor, Gwyllyn Goddard, was also tied to the website. His medical licence is temporarily inactive.

As of Mar. 28, the website appears to no longer offer exemptions, but instead claims to provide "incredibly useful" information about COVID-19 and vaccinations.

Chilliwack RCMP are investigating

Malthouse filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court last year, claiming the college is violating his right to free speech by investigating him and proposing disciplinary measures. 

With files from Bethany Lindsay