Dr. Harriet Hall, Staunch Critic of Anti-vaxxers and Alternative Medicine, Dies in Her Sleep
By Jim Hoft
Dr. Harriet “The SkepDoc” Hall, an author of a science medicine blog slamming the anti-vaxxers and critic of alternative medicine, died suddenly in her sleep last week.
Dr. Hall is a retired Air Force physician and flight surgeon who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices.
“This is Kirk Hall, Harriet’s husband. I know Harriet’s work was followed and admired by many of you. It is with great sadness that I must tell you my beloved wife passed away quietly and unexpectedly in her sleep last night,” Harriet’s husband wrote on Facebook.
“At this moment, she would probably simply ask you to have a kind thought for her, be kind to each other and continue to support her belief in the truth,” the post added.
“As managing editor of Science-Based Medicine, I am greatly saddened to have to announce to our readers that Dr. Harriet Hall passed away unexpectedly last night,” said Ron Jette, managing editor of Science-Based Medicine.
Ron Jette sent out an email announcing the passing of Dr. Hall:
It is with profound sadness that I report to you that my good friend, Dr. Harriet “SkepDoc” Hall, passed away in her sleep quietly and unexpectedly last night in Seattle.
Kirk Hall, Harriet’s husband, has kindly allowed me to notify you of Harriet’s passing.
We were currently working on the January edition of the newsletter and that final edition will be delivered within the next few days.
If, like her, you believe in truth and science-based medicine—and I know you do—please have a kind thought for her. I will miss her dearly and I know you will, too.
Dr. Harriet Hall was a proponent of the vaccination mandate and against all-natural remedies.
“Are you contemplating getting a second booster for COVID-19? Check out my SkepDoc’s Corner at Skept Inquirer to find out why I say your decision should be a resounding YES!” she wrote in a post.
Below are some of her blog posts:
After her passing, many speculated that the Covid vaccination played a role in her sudden death.
Back in 2021, Dr. Hall announced that she received her third dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine.
“My husband and I (both well over 65) just got our third dose of COVID vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is free at Safeway for everyone. Very convenient and only a short wait. No appointment needed.”
Dr. Hall’s colleagues and his widow were outraged about these claims that she died from the COVID vaccine.
“After Dr. Harriet Hall died last week, antivaxxers started blaming COVID vaccines. Science Based Med’s Dr. David Gorski goes beyond his anger to explain this conspiracy theory, according to tweet.
“After I got over the initial shock and sadness that hit me after I learned of the unexpected death of our friend and colleague Dr. Harriet Hall last week, I must confess that, as was the case with Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest that was most likely from commotio cordis, my next thought was how long it would be before antivaxxers started blaming her unexpected passing on COVID-19 vaccines,” Gorski wrote.
The same anti-vaccine propagandists jumping on Lisa Marie Presley’s cardiac arrest are also attacking Dr. Harriet Hall’s grieving husband and friends.
I’m desensitized to trolling at this point, but this makes me sick.
Scientific illiteracy is overshadowed by moral bankruptcy.
— Dr. Jonathan N. Stea (@jonathanstea) January 13, 2023
Kirk Hall, Dr. Hall’s husband responded to the report:
“The antivaxxers are a loathsome, despicable group who seem to be able to plumb the deepest levels of depravity to push their agenda. Harriet had been in delicate health for many years before the Covid-19 pandemic. Several years ago I took over all household chores after she experienced blackouts and fell in San Francisco and at SeaTac within a week. Recently Harriet’s doctor at Madigan Army Medical Center was having her worked up for possible congestive heart failure. A very recent echocardiogram (we have not received the full results) showed she had leakage in two of her heart valves. She also had a transient heart arrythmia which was of many years’ duration. Neither one of us have had Covid-19 and Harriet’s exposure to life outside the home had for the last several years, been limited to visits to her doctor and dentist.”
Tributes flooded in social media following Dr. Hall’s passing:
Dr. Harriet Hall has passed away unexpectedly. Known worldwide as the SkepDoc, Dr. Hall was an outstanding science educator, a debunker of dangerous pseudoscience, and a lovely person. She will be missed.https://t.co/uuxiAYEXNO
— The Thinking Atheist (@ThinkingAtheist) January 13, 2023
Atheists for Liberty is deeply saddened to hear about the death of “SkepDoc” Dr. Harriet Hall. Dr. Hall was an advocate of science, truth, and skepticism. The world of science, atheism, and skepticism has lost a tremendous inquiring mind. #skeptic #skepticism #atheist pic.twitter.com/AavBj8QJEQ
— Atheists for Liberty (@AtheistsLiberty) January 16, 2023
I am so saddened by this news. I read Dr. Hall’s book early on in my journey out of naturopathy and found it inspiring. I am grateful that I got to know her
— Britt Marie Hermes (@NaturoDiaries) January 12, 2023
.@HHSkepDoc has passed away unexpectedly.
We linked to numerous pieces by Dr. Hall over the years. She was an outstanding doctor, writer, and skeptic https://t.co/gwqdmgpJIp pic.twitter.com/BRvOoBxxO3
— RealClearScience (@RCScience) January 13, 2023
We just learned earlier today of Dr. Harriet Hall's passing last night. Please join us in remembering her as a friend, as well as her lifetime contributions to @ScienceBasedMed and to skepticism and science in general. She will be missed. https://t.co/k0jcu0z08M
— ScienceBasedMed (@ScienceBasedMed) January 12, 2023