11/30/2017 / By Lance D Johnson
An increasing number of U.S. hospitals now require their staff to take mandatory flu vaccines or be terminated from employment. This coercive policy is in violation of the American Medical Association’s code of ethics and precisely violates informed consent of the individual. While most nurses “go along to get along,” not all healthcare workers cave into the pressure.
A wave of health care workers are now defying the mandatory flu vaccine order and are resorting to civil disobedience to protect informed consent, not only for themselves, but also for that of patients and future patients.
A total of 69 employees from the Essentia Health system were terminated from employment on November 20, 2017 because they refused to get a flu shot by the hospital’s pre-determined deadline of November 10. This mandatory flu shot policy is being challenged by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA). The MNA is in the process of filing grievances to restore the jobs of registered nurses who refused the order. Some nurses have tried to appeal the hospital’s ruthless decision, claiming the mandatory injection violates their own medical objections or religious beliefs.
In hopes of reaching a compromise, the dissenting nurses proposed a voluntary flu shot program that doesn’t terminate employment but instead gives a reward to employees who do comply, while also allowing sick time for nurses who suffer reactions from the shot. MNA co-chair Steve Strand said Essentia executives have no interest in negotiating and are dead-set on using force to reach 100 percent flu vaccine compliance. “Essentia Health showed nurses they did not intend to bargain with us in good faith. We tried to sit down with management, but Essentia executives told us they intend to follow through with terminations and mandatory flu shots regardless,” Strand said.
The Minnesota Department of Health admits there isn’t any data proving that the flu rate in hospitals goes down when healthcare workers are vaccinated. If anything, the Centers for Disease Control routinely admits that the flu shot is ineffective against the current flu strain going around. By the time a vaccine is made, its virus material doesn’t match the current, mutated strains that are circulating among the public. Sole reliance on vaccines to prevent disease totally ignores the multitude of less-invasive, holistic preventative strategies that could be implemented to help bring down flu incidence and help people properly manage symptoms and overcome illness quicker.
Informed consent is absolutely essential in healthcare; without it, healthcare would become forced medical experimentation. Without informed consent, patients become subjects and those administering the forced medicine become dictators over the individual, asserting harm by default. Because informed consent is so important, all coercive, compulsive and mandatory vaccine policies and laws should be eliminated.
Medicine is only ethical when an individual is presented with all the information about the medical product and is given other options and the right to opt out, when they get to decide whether they want to use the medical product on their own body for whatever intended purpose it is marketed for. Informed consent should be an easy fundamental concept to follow in the case of vaccines, because the unvaccinated individual poses no harm just as they are. Vaccines are not emergency medicine. Vaccines are marketed on the notion that they will prevent a specific disease, but the claims are unverified and the risk is always taken on by the individual recipient, whichever way they choose to go.
The nurses who choose not to take the flu shot pose no greater threat to people, unless it could be clinically proven on a daily basis otherwise. The patient or healthcare worker should always make their own decision about what goes into their body when it comes to equipping their personal immune system. The individual knows what’s best for their own body.