posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 05:19 PM
reply to post by whitewave
I have a license to practice as an RN but am not working. My final straw was the mandatory flu vaccine. My teaching hospital was an early adopter. I
took a religious exemption but told my supervisor it was really a poitical statement and she and her supervisors were quizzical. Why would I refuse to
"protect" my patients? This is the standard party guilt trip.
Here as everywhere, many people seem to agree that the healthcare worker owes it to society to agree to being vaccinated. My belief is this is just
one more move to make us trade our basic rights for the "job". This will eventually spread to the idea that everyone owes it everyone to receive
whatever is deemed "for the good of public health". Public health is a statistical measure. A few deaths/injuries/loss of rights of self determinism
is personal but an acceptable statistical risk.
Medical systems needs "measurable" data to show the regulatory agencies the best faith effort to "protect". This kind of mandatory vaccination is
not for the public's benefit. It is to "demonstrate" a way to measure "excellence". It matters not if it is more effective than other REAL
effective strategies. CEOs count up to 100% compliance and celebrate.
Does this seem like the kind of "health care" a society of free men and women choose?
I am NOT a statistic and this is the fallacy underlying every aspect of the systems we created. Humans are individual and unique and our bodies are
created to self repair and heal when given the environment of support (good Florence Nightingale was my heroine).
There is much solid information about alternatives to the flu shot like stress management basic rest, nutrition, treatment of health issues that cause
immune dysfunction (not just popping pills to treat symptoms), vitamin D, hand washing.
Do not discount the placebo effect AND the nocebo effect. If I believe the flu shot is a good thing...it will work more effectively. If I am concerned
about it or do not think it is for my good, it will possibly harm me.
Considering the truth about how effective the vaccines are, the side effects that have included death to a few, the very sense that our bodies are
supposed to be our own to control, an agreement to the vaccine must be individual! The truth about individual health, even the truth of "epidemics"
is NOT what is being espoused. I wish nurses and all HCP would be activists for health but I guess the jobs are what count (stupid me).....
Many Massachusetts health care facilities have followed Rhode Island's lead by requiring HCP, under threat of termination, to become
vaccinated against influenza.5 Such mandatory vaccination policies have a superficial appeal. The 2012-2013 flu vaccine protects against three
influenza viruses - H1N1 virus, H3N2 virus, and an influenza B virus and initial reports indicated that 91 percent of tested virus samples from
infected patients this season match one of the three vaccine strains.
Despite its attractive façade, employer mandated immunization policies have limited demonstrated efficacy, ignore less invasive (and more effective)
alternatives and threaten to permanently undermine the rights of HCP. Those rights are embodied in the ebb and flow of a century of immunization case
law and the development of the concepts of a constitutional right to privacy and bodily integrity. Privacy, bodily/medical integrity and
One of the earliest challenges to a mandatory immunization program was the seminal case Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11, (1905). Jacobson, a
Cambridge resident, refused a mandatory smallpox vaccine, challenging a city ordinance requiring the vaccine for all residents.6 Jacobson argued that
a "compulsory vaccination law is … hostile to the inherent right of every freeman to care for his own body and health in such way as to him seems
best; and that the execution of such a law against one who objects to vaccination, no matter for what reason, is nothing short of an assault upon his
person." Id at 26. The United States Supreme Court, however, upheld Jacobson's criminal conviction, ruling that "in every well-ordered society
charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure
of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand." The
court warned, however, that "the police power of a State … may be exerted in such circumstances or by regulations so arbitrary and oppressive in
particular cases as to justify the interference of the courts to prevent wrong and oppression."
Jacobson set the stage for over a century of legal wrangling pitting the state's use of its police power in securing the public health against an
individual's right to privacy, bodily integrity and to make informed medical decisions.7 Health care providers considering the implementation of a
mandatory immunization program should be guided by the development of the constitutional balance with which courts often struggle. This historical
balance depends on factors such as the actual threat posed by the disease, the efficacy of the mandate and the impact of the mandate on constitutional
Mandatory vaccination programs against a deadly disease (such as smallpox) or one designed to completely eradicate a contagious, dangerous disease
(polio, measles) have been upheld as reasonable exercises of the state police power.. Even the eradication of contagious, serious illnesses (chicken
pox) have been upheld as a justified use of police power. The state's police power, however, has not in modern times, been wielded in a situation in
which the disease is not deadly and the immunization program is not designed to eradicate the disease.
In the guiding light of these general principles, employers should eschew policies mandating influenza immunization of HCP. Such policies are an
unwarranted infringement upon workers' rights when the intrusiveness of such a policy is viewed in light of their limited efficacy and available