In this video Jordan Peterson says the following:

Do you know that it is now illegal for physicians to list starvation as the cause of death for a Venezuelan child in a hospital. That's how they're dealing with the fact of starvation. You just make it illegal to have that diagnosed as your cause of death. That'll solve the problem.

I know Venezuela is in an economic crisis at the moment, and starvation is a serious problem. It's reported all over the place. What I couldn't find was exactly an answer to whether the government made it illegal for physicians to list starvation as a cause of death for a child.

I find a Reddit question asking the same thing, where there is a link to a New York times article which includes I think two relevant parts:

The Venezuelan government has tried to cover up the extent of the crisis by enforcing a near-total blackout of health statistics, and by creating a culture in which doctors are often afraid to register cases and deaths that may be associated with the government’s failures.


Doctors are censored in hospitals, too, often warned not to include malnutrition in children’s medical records.

“In some public hospitals, the clinical diagnosis of malnutrition has been prohibited,” Dr. Huníades Urbina said.

But doctors interviewed by The Times at nine of the 21 public hospitals said that they had kept at least some count. They encountered nearly 2,800 cases of child malnutrition in the last year alone, with starving children regularly brought to emergency rooms. Nearly 400 of the children died, the doctors said.

The reporting from this article suggests that physicians may be discouraged, or maybe feel threatened to officially list such a cause of death, however I don't think it answers the question of whether it was made illegal.

In an Irish Times article I found the following of relevance when talking about two infants:

But in the case of Kenyerber and Kleiver, a rare situation occurred for Venezuela: Severe malnutrition was listed as a cause of death on their death certificates.
Dec 19, 2017

Is what Jordan Peterson said correct? Is it possible to find out given the Venezuelan government's secrecy about this topic. It seems from the information I've read that in at least two cases severe malnutrition was listed as a cause of death for children, and the rest of the information says that in certain hospitals physicians are either censored from reporting the true cause of death, or are in fear of doing so. But I feel this is different from saying that the government made it illegal, which is what I take Jordan Peterson to be saying.

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    So, at first glance, it looks like basically everyone is sourcing from the NY Times piece, which is apparently original reportage. They're asserting that there's a coverup, and they doctors are being leaned on to not acknowledge malnutrition as cause of death. So... if there's no actual law, but the doctors are complying for fear of the power of the State, then what exactly do you call that?
    – Ben Barden
    Jan 4, 2019 at 21:43
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    If there was a law, the Times would have said so. As such, there probably isn't one technically. On the other hand, if you're basing your video off of what you read in a paper that's based on the reporting in the Times (or whatever), then that's really not a large degree of signal degradation. It's not even bias. The thing that he's claiming isn't really any worse than the thing that the NYT reported - it's just a bit misdescribed.
    – Ben Barden
    Jan 4, 2019 at 21:47
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    @TimScanlon Even if there were no official law, I hardly find it scandalously misrepresentative of the situation. It seems the facts are there was/is a cover-up. Whether doctors are extrajudicially coerced or censored or whether there exists a law I don't think it changes much in reality. Saying "illegal" may not have been an appropriate word, but given the reality of state coercion (if that's true), I don't consider it too far off. What's made you assume he lies? Have you found other things he's said which aren't true? I'm not saying I haven't found any. I'm just asking you.
    – Zebrafish
    Jan 9, 2019 at 13:21
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    @TimScanlon There's a reason that fact-checking answers often look like the following: "Technically true, but...". The reason for this is NOT to make a partisan defence, but because the context and details matter. The claim is it's illegal for physicians to report starvation as a cause of death. The evidence we have is that of covert and extrajudicial intimidation and coercion exerted by the government on physicians not to list starvation as a cause of death. It's as simple as that. Anyone can judge for themself how misrepresentative or misleading this in fact is.
    – Zebrafish
    Jan 16, 2019 at 4:21
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    Define “illegal” If the government won’t let you do something then it’s illegal even if it’s not a written law. In primitive society with no written language, does that mean nothing is illegal? Of course not. Something can be illegal without it being formally written into law. Common Law are all unwritten laws that are enforced in the US.
    – bhause
    Nov 12, 2021 at 18:41


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