Welcome to the support fund for general practitioner Hans van der Linde
This website was designed to support general practitioner Hans van der Linde financially in the lawsuit that was filed against him by the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) and its director Professor Roel Coutinho, head of the Dutch Centre for Infectious Disease Control.
Hans van der Linde doubts the usefulness of influenza vaccination. RIVM and Roel Coutinho do not. In his role as a professor, Roel Coutinho collaborates with pharmaceutical companies. Hans van der Linde has revealed this and he called it a conflict of interest. When he rejected a claim by the Director-General of the RIVM to withdraw his statements, he was summoned to the District Court in Middelburg.
RIVM and Coutinho chose an intimidating lawsuit rather than a public discussion. Even if the RIVM would lose the case, Van der Linde had to pay all lawsuit costs. RIVM and Coutinho had no financial worries, they litigate at the expense of the government, so with our tax money.
At issue in this case is freedom of speech. Van der Linde, and with him a large number of doctors, professors and other interested parties, believes that the debate about the usefulness and necessity of the flu vaccination should be held in public, not in court. Hans van der Linde could only defend himself properly if he was financially supported.
To support Hans van der Linde a foundation was set up. An independent board, chaired by Professor Rien Vermeulen, professor of neurology at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, monitored the expenditure of raised money and have reported about this on this website.
After almost a year, RIVM lost this case. The judge decided that Hans van der Linde could make his statements in a public debate. RIVM and Coutinho accepted this judgement and did not lodge an appeal. The foundation will be dissolved by the end of 2013.