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Surgery professor sues SHA, U of S, COM following termination

The SHA and U of S terminated Dr. Francis Christian as a surgeon and professor of surgery for speaking out against giving the COVID vaccine to children

SASKATOON – A former surgeon and professor of surgery at the U of S is suing Saskatchewan Health Authority, the U of S, and the College of Medicine over his termination for speaking out against giving the COVID vaccine to children.

Constitutional lawyers from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are representing Dr. Francis Christian who was suspended from his teaching responsibilities in June 2021 and terminated from his position with the College of Medicine at the U of S September 2021. SHA also terminated him from his surgical position in Saskatoon. Dr. Christian was a surgeon for more than 20 years and started working in Saskatoon in 2007. He also serves as editor of the Journal of the Surgical Humanities.

“The Saskatchewan Health Authority and the College have violated Dr. Christian’s Charter-protected freedoms of expression and conscience,” said lawyer Andrew Memauri Friday. “The College’s conduct is a gross violation of the principles of academic freedom and scientific inquiry.”

"The defamatory statements made by some of the defendants against Dr. Christian added insult to injury," added Memauri. “Christian will pursue justice accordingly.”

The U of S says they will defend the claim against them.

“We are aware of a statement of claim brought by Dr. Francis Christian against the University of Saskatchewan,” said Victoria Dinh, spokesperson for the U of S. “The university intends to advance a vigorous defence in these proceedings. Since the matter is before the courts, the university will not make further comment at this time."

Doug Dahl, SHA Media Relations Manager confirmed that they have received a statement of claim from Dr. Christian.

“The SHA will be reviewing the claim and preparing a response,” said Dahl. “The SHA has no further comment at this time.”

In June 2021, Dr. Christian had publicly expressed concern that he had not come across “a single vaccinated child or parent who has been adequately informed” about COVID vaccines for children.

Dr. Christian held a press conference June 17, 2021, clearly stating that he didn’t represent SHA or U of S or any other group.

“I am very pro-vaccine physician,” he said. "I am only too aware of the great scourges of mankind, including smallpox, that have been eliminated or made innocuous by vaccination. I am also pro-vaccine for my own family, including myself. During the COVID-19 pandemic I have continued to work, actually looking after patients in my clinics and in operating rooms."

On that day, Dr. Christian participated in a demonstration outside of Walter Murray Collegiate to convince students not to get vaccinated. Dr. Chong Wong, a Saskatoon family physician who lectures at the U of S also participated.

Dr. Christian had urged SHA to pause the m-RNA rollout to children saying there is a sacrosanct principle of informed consent that was being violated and applies more so to a vaccine that had never before been tried in humans and patients need to be informed of its risks, benefits, and any alternatives.

“The principle of informed consent is being consistently violated in this province for the m-RNA vaccine for our kids,” he said. “I have not met a single vaccinated child or parent who has been adequately informed and who then understand the risks of this vaccine or its benefits.”

Dr. Christian also questioned the COVID pandemic.

SHA reacted swiftly with its CEO saying that the statements about the pandemic and vaccines from a Saskatoon surgery professor who serves in a key SHA role were “dangerous.”

The U of S suspended Dr. Christian from his teaching responsibility in June before terminating him three months later. The SHA terminated him from his surgical position in June 2021.

“The censorship of esteemed medical professionals in Canada during the COVID pandemic is profoundly disturbing,” said Allison Pejovic, who is co-counsel for Dr. Christian. “Canadians ought to be able to benefit from scientific discourse, inquiry, and debate, and hear divergent opinions from well-respected doctors and scientists.

“Legitimate concerns stemming from scientific research ought to be discussed and debated; instead they have often been suppressed and muted which is both unscientific and undemocratic.”

Story updated to say the College of Medicine and not the College of Physicians and Surgeons is being sued.