The Australian Medical Association Position Statement: “Wind Farms and Health” 2014 has provoked instant national and international condemnation from those who have first hand knowledge of the damaging impact of wind turbine noise, including impacted residents, researchers, and professionals providing either clinical care or acoustic services.
Some people are writing privately to the AMA, urging them to remove or update the ignorant AMA position statement, whilst others would like their views made public. As the Waubra Foundation becomes aware of letters written to the AMA and receives permission to reproduce them, they are being posted below.
The Waubra Foundation’s Open Letter to the AMA is here.
Gardner, Mrs. Ann Nine Questions for the AMA
My name is Ann Gardner and I have lived and worked happily and healthily for 34 years, on my husband’s and my farming property in south-west Victoria until October 2012, when the first only 15 turbines of the Macarthur wind farm began operation, and threw our lives and those of many others, into turmoil.
At the time of writing this letter I am suffering terribly from the infrasound emitted by the 140 turbines located FAR TOO CLOSE to our property.
I have a bad headache. I have a very strong pain shooting up through the back of my neck and into my head. I have extremely sore and blocked ears and very painful pressure in my nose. I have pressure in my jaws and my teeth. My heart is POUNDING .….. I can feel the vibration going through my body, through the chair, like an electric charge. I have just taken yet another two tablets to try and alleviate the pain.
I am also exhausted, as last night, along with every other night, I spent more time awake than asleep. The infrasound in our bedroom, was appalling .….. I could feel the vibration through the mattress and the pillow, like an electric charge through my body. My head felt as if a brick was on it, and the pressure and pain in my nose was extreme. I have always been a very sound sleeper, that is until October 2012. I am now lucky if I am able to get two or three hours sleep each night, in my own home.
Gallandy-Jakobsen, Greta. AMA Concerned About Machines Instead of Human Beings
Do you remember your oath as a member of the medical profession?
At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession:
- I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
- I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
- I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;
- The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
- I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
- I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
- My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;
- I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
- I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;
- I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
- I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honour.
Enbom, Dr Hakam, MD, PhD. Otoneurologist, Angelholm, Sweden
"Thus the conclusion is that low frequency sound and infrasound from wind power has the qualities to trigger increased sensitivity and eventually migraine headache or other migraine-symptoms – such as vertigo or tinnitus (without headache)."
Hopkins, Dr Gary D. Emergency Physician, South Australia
"I am rendered speechless by your irresponsible, ill researched, ill advised and reckless statement that those who might suffer physical effects from the presence of turbines are suffering a psychological condition (anxiety). Indeed your very statement itself causes anxiety in those likely to be effected ( “who will believe me when I tell them I feel sick ” ? )."
McMurtry, Professor R. Researcher, Expert Witness, Former Dean Medical School, Ontario, Canada
"I am writing to comment on the AMA Position Statement. The position statement is surprising. It is not well informed, references are absent and the authors of the document are undisclosed. Many of the phrases and claims in the document faithfully reflect wind industry claims, claims which cannot be substantiated.
Review of the existing evidence in which direct assessment of exposed individuals has been carried out uniformly reveals adverse health effects2. The common denominator of complaints consists of sleep disturbance, inner ear disturbance and stress response. These are serious adverse health effects. These adverse health events have been reported globally in the media and grey literature."
Palmer, William. Professional Engineer, Ontario, Canada
"I wish to express to you my grave concern that the Position Statement as it is issued is not consistent with the Code of Ethics of the Australian Medical Association
There is obviously a need for discretion, but this information is from the public record:
- A gentleman in his 50’s who stood at a public meeting to declare he was suffering no adverse health effects from wind turbines near his home suffered a cardiac arrest and died within one week of his declaration.
- A young lady in her 30’s suffered an unexpected sudden cardiac arrest and died.
- Another gentleman in his 60’s had a cardiac arrest while out fishing and could not be revived.
- Another gentleman in his 60’s suffered a cardiac arrest while driving and passed away.
Papadopoulos, George. Pharmacist, Yass, NSW
"Both AMA position statements reflect an abstract position that does not examine reality.
It seems that the AMA perceives information and open discussion as a threat to the mental wellbeing of the modern Australian.
The harm wind turbines can cause has been described by NASA scientists in the 1980’s. The response by Sarah Laurie to the AMA is very comprehensive and makes the case clear"
Reider, Dr Sandy MD, Primary Care Physician, Vermont USA, has treated impacted residents
"As a rural primary care physician (graduate of Harvard Medical School in 1971) in northern Vermont, USA, I have observed first hand the adverse health effects experienced by individuals living too close to the two large wind projects that have been brought online in the area over the past few years."
Tibbetts, Dr. Jay J. MD, Primary Care Physician, Wisconsin, USA, has treated impacted residents
"Over the past four years the Board has studied the deleterious effects of IWT’s on human health.
We have the Shirley Wind Farm in our county. It consists of eight 500’ 2.5 megawatt IWT’s. The effects on our citizens living in the immediate vicinity i.e. 2–3 mi. of the nearest turbine has been devastating. Ear pressure , pain, tinnitus, vertigo, headache, nausea, chest pain pressure, abdominal pain, poor concentration, sleep deprivation, irritability and depression are some of the symptoms our citizens are experiencing. These symptoms are not unique to our facility but are reported world wide and a direct effect of ILFN. Three families from Shirley Wind have abandoned their homes and several others would move save for financial reasons."
To view and download these full letters and many others please visit the Waubra Foundation website