The following is the story of Garrett Utting.
If you prefer to read a brief version of Garrett’s story, see this version of the article.
He was 30 years old when he died in December 2021. He was young and healthy with only a history of galactosaemia which required a strict dairy free diet. He was on no medication.
He did not want to be vaccinated as he was well and at minimal risk from a serious outcome. He had no co-morbidities and was fit and active in a physical job outdoors.
His father initially supported his decision not to get the jab as he was healthy and the long-term effects were unknown, but he was also concerned that Garrett might lose his newfound employment and cadetship in horticulture and didn’t want him to put his career in jeopardy. He had already lost one job due to lockdowns. He suggested Garrett wait and see what his employer wanted and go from there. Unfortunately, his employer followed the government advice and required employees to be vaccinated even though the bulk of his work was outside by himself in the orchards and vineyards.
Garrett reluctantly got vaccinated on 13 Nov 2021. He did not complain to anyone of symptoms but would not have been likely to do so. He did call in to work to say he needed a day or two off on 3 Dec 2021 due to feeling tired, fatigued and needing to rest.
His Mum had spent a few days with him in Hawkes Bay from 22 Nov 2021 and noted he was in a good space. He seemed well and cheerful.
On 11 Dec 2021 Garrett’s parents had a visit from police officers to tell them that their son had been found dead in his flat. He had last been seen alive on 8 Dec 2021.
No-one in authority (medical, police, coronial) reported his death to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring). Garrett’s parents had to do this themselves, otherwise his death following vaccination would never have been noted.
There was nothing to suggest a cause – no suspicious circumstances, no pills or drugs, no alcohol, no suicide note, no injury and no indication of a seizure.
Pathologist (doctor) and Coroner (lawyer)
Garrett’s parents made the difficult decision to agree to a postmortem examination in order to understand what their son had died from. This included the usual testing for infection and toxicology (both negative). Microscopic examination of the tissues was also conducted. The outcome was that there was no cause of death determined. This has suddenly become a very common post mortem result, since 2021. Some jurisdictions are reporting this as the leading cause of death in younger people!
On 1 Feb 2022 the family were provided with a preliminary update from the Coroner’s Office. There were no positive findings pointing to a reason for his death, but the update said:
But note, there is a very important principle in medicine: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
On 8 Mar 2022 the family got an email from the Coroner’s Office to provide another update. This stated that there was no cause of death from disease or injury, and toxicological analysis of Mr Utting’s blood had not revealed a cause of death, but that even though there was no discernible cause of death it was definitely NOT vaccine related.
This confidence appears to have been on the basis of microscopic assessment of various organs, in particular the heart. It is noted that although 19 post-mortem cardiac sections were examined none of these came from atria (upper chambers) or conducting system. It is also noted that no staining for spike protein or any other testing for vaccine components (lipid nanoparticles, synthetic mRNA, contaminant DNA) of any tissues took place. The pathologist’s report does not even mention the recent vaccination.
Because the pathologist suggested that the majority of cases of sudden death are assumed to be due to the heart, (arrhythmias or abnormal rhythms), he and his family were referred to the CIDG (Cardiac Inherited Diseases Group) for assessment of possible heart related genetic conditions. This thorough assessment of Garrett and his nuclear family was negative indicating that he did not have any documented inherited genetic trait that could be associated with sudden cardiac death.
Following the post-mortem assessment and pathologist’s report in Sept 2022, the family had to wait a further 10 months until 26 Jul 2023 for the Coroner’s report. This stated that the cause of death was ‘unascertained’ or SUDY (Sudden Unexplained Death in the Young) – related to SADS and SIDS.
The Coroner (Katharine Greig) made a decision not to open an Inquiry stating:
This is a particularly unsatisfactory outcome for the family. Their son and brother is dead 3 weeks after a novel medical procedure and the cause of death is ‘unascertained’ but definitely due to ‘natural causes’.
Recently the Coroners Act was conveniently amended and now allows a cause of death to be ‘unascertained natural causes’ and allows a coroner not to make findings on the circumstances of death.
If the coroner was truly interested in her role as protector of the health of the population, she would have considered and commented on the circumstances. In this case, the circumstances involve the country being in the midst of a rollout of a new gene therapy that was still in phase 3 clinical trials at the time of Garrett’s death. In addition, the circumstances should include the fact that a medical procedure was being mandated without any workplace health and safety assessments being done and without any informed consent.
Since receiving the coroner’s report, which determined the cause of death was ‘unascertained’, the family have asked for further investigation including staining of tissues for spike protein and testing for vaccine components, possibly off-shore as the ability to do this does not seem to have reached New Zealand.
The Chief Coroner (Anna Tutton) has replied saying she is not able to comment on, further investigate, or interfere with, the findings issued by any coroner and if the family wanted to pursue things, they would need to contact the Solicitor General. Effectively – Case Closed.
CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)
The family wanted to understand the process of investigation of death following a medical procedure so asked for more information from CARM.
This started with obtaining the AEFI (adverse event following immunisation) number and then asking for the AEFI-A number (a number that appears to be allocated after the event has been assessed).
Dr Tatley, Director of New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre, said on 9 Aug 2023:
Garrett’s family had been waiting, expecting someone to contact them to ask for more details about him and his medical history but no-one ever did. They assumed investigations were being undertaken and they would be notified. They assumed the pathologist’s report and the Coroner’s report would automatically go to CARM to be part of the assessment.
In Aug 2023 they found out this was not the case and so they forwarded the Coroner’s report to CARM.
Dr Tatley also suggested:
It is important to note that the Coroner is legally trained and is a lawyer, she is not medically trained. She is not trained in pharmacovigilance – the pharmaceutical science relating to the collection, detection, assessment, monitoring, and prevention of adverse effects with pharmaceutical products. That is what Dr Tatley is trained in and that is his professional role.
Later in August 2023 Dr Tatley provided more information on the role of CARM.
So, NZ’s pharmacovigilance centre, staffed by trained doctors and pharmacovigilance experts, outsources the cause-of-death determination following a provisionally-consented novel medication, to legally trained Coroners!? There is something very fishy going on here.
Medsafe and ISMB (Independent Safety Monitoring Board)
Garrett’s parents were made aware of a press release from the Ministry of Health in August 2021 following the first official death due to vaccine induced myocarditis. This stated:
They decided to ask the ISMB what deliberations had gone on regarding their son’s death. After submitting a Privacy Act request which turned into an Official Information Act request, they received a letter from Medsafe’s Derek Fitzgerald which stated:
Then in October 2023, in response to further questions about what processes had been followed, Chris James of Medsafe reiterated that it was the role of the coroner to determine the cause of death. He directed the family to a Medsafe webpage that detailed the follow up process for reports of significant adverse events including deaths.
This page says Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) and Medsafe:
- investigate reports of significant events,
- seek further information from the reporter,
- contact the coroner or pathologist if a death had been reported to the coroner.
None of these things appear to have happened in Garrett’s case.
The Medsafe webpage also advised that the aim of the investigation was for CARM and Medsafe to determine the likelihood that the vaccine caused the reported events. The role of the ISMB in cases of death was to review the information gathered and provide their view on the likely relationship of the reported events to vaccination.
In contrast to Derek Fitzgerald’s comment, Mr James said Garrett’s case was presented to the ISMB and they had the opportunity to discuss the case. He didn’t make it clear whether the ISMB had actually discussed it.
He stated the causality assessment process only investigates the strength of relationship between a medicine and reaction for the purposes of detecting new adverse reactions to medicines.
Minutes from the ISMB meetings do not provide any insight into what discussions are undertaken regarding fatal cases in the meetings.
Garrett’s family asked for clarity over whether the ISMB actually discussed his case and asked for a causality assessment to be undertaken if one hadn’t been done. They wanted to understand whether the ISMB thought his death (3.5 weeks after a vaccination with no other cause determined) was likely or unlikely to be related to the vaccine, the strength of this relationship and the process that enabled this to be determined.
In early November 2023 they had further communication from Chris James of Medsafe stating that although the ISMB had the opportunity to discuss Garrett’s case, they did not discuss it.
He also noted that the term of the CV-ISMB concluded on 30 June 2023 and that the Ministry of Health had ‘nothing further to add’. i.e. they are not going to make a determination about whether the vaccine caused or contributed to Garrett’s death.
So, while the population is being reassured that every death is thoroughly investigated, and there are ‘only’ four deaths in NZ due to the vaccine, behind the scenes the ISMB (‘independent’ from who or what?) does not appear to be discussing or assessing every serious or fatal case. Do we have any idea how many of the 184 deaths officially reported by 30 Nov 2022 have actually been discussed and assessed?
The family applied to ACC for help with funeral costs but were turned down on the basis of Dr Michael Tatley’s ACC report. Dr Tatley’s credentials as per the ACC report are Pharmacovigilance / Drug Safety / Public Health. This report basically said that a death 3-4 weeks post vaccination was not likely to be due to known adverse effects from vaccination (he didn’t say anything about considering the unknown effects of a novel technology) and as there was no evidence of myocarditis, it couldn’t possibly be the vaccine. He did not seem to consider there may be other unknown things this vaccine could cause, or perhaps a small area of scar tissue in the electrical conduction pathway which would be capable of causing a catastrophic arrhythmia that had not been detected by tissue sampling.
He (being a pharmacovigilance expert) did not refer to any of the causality determining criteria such as WHO, Naranjo or Bradford-Hills to back up his pronouncement.
He appears to have tossed aside one of the fundamental principles of pharmacovigilance – that the adverse effect or death is due to the medication until proven otherwise. In this case there is a healthy young man, suddenly dead less than 4 weeks after a novel medical procedure and extensive investigation has demonstrated no other cause. Previously the vaccine would have been determined causal. However, in the current situation, the systems and usual principles are not operating as we would expect.
Garrett’s family have also recently contacted their local MP to ask for help. They have not met with her yet.
So in summary, the ‘thorough robust systems’ that we are told are monitoring vaccine safety and demonstrating how safe the vaccine is, and compensating the injured are not functioning at all. We have been lied to. There is a circular shuffling of responsibility for determining the official cause of death and its connection or otherwise to the vaccination. It is completely opaque as to which organisation or person holds ultimate responsibility. The ACC compensation process puts an enormous, impossible burden of proof on the injured or the family of the deceased.
Dr Tatley appears derelict in his duties as a pharmacovigilance officer.
This was an experimental vaccine.
How many other dead New Zealanders have been similarly fobbed off, not investigated, not compensated and ignored – and why?
How can we trust the safety monitoring if deaths and adverse effects are not even being assessed?
Who decides which deaths to investigate?
Within what post-vaccination time frame should deaths be investigated – one day, two weeks, 4 months, two years, 10 years, next generation?