First Do No Harm: Protecting Patients Through Immunizing Health Care Workers.
Dorit Rubinstein Reiss
University of California Hastings College of the Law
Rene F. Najera
John Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health
To protect vulnerable patients, hospitals increasingly adopt policies requiring health care workers to be vaccinated against influenza. More than twenty states have also enacted statutes or regulations on the topic. A small minority of health care workers oppose the requirement, and several have appealed to our courts of justice.
This article examines the legal issues surrounding influenza mandates for health care workers, including the constitutional framework, federal employment discrimination statutes, and the effect of collective bargaining. It argues that requiring vaccination for health care workers is both ethical and appropriate. While better done via state statute, hospitals have the authority to require vaccination from their workers – and are not, arguably, required to exempt any workers that do not have medical barriers to vaccination.
This is the manual about law and vaccines prepared in collaboration between myself, Amanda Naprawa and Voices for Vaccines. It covers a range of issues.
Vaccines: Regulating the Product
Protecting the Public Health: State and Federal Law
Disease Prevention: The CDC’s Role
School Immunization Requirements
Vaccines: Individual Choice and Community Welfare
Community vs. Individual: Achieving a Balance of Rights
Religion, Employment, and Rights
Parental Rights and the Child’s Right to Health
Informed Refusal: The Risks of Not Vaccinating
Increasing Immunization Rates: The Role of the Law
Government-Funded Incentives and Subsidies
Imposing Costs: Civil Lawsuits.
Imposing Costs: No-Fault Options
Limiting Unvaccinated Individuals’ Access
Vaccine Refusal and Criminal Law
Vaccine Injuries: Compensating the Rare Adverse Event.
NVICP vs. the Courts
Are Vaccines “Unavoidably Unsafe?”
Responding to Attorney Alan Phillips’ claims claiming that there are many things unconstitutional or illegal in imposing such mandates.
This is the second in a two-part series: in the first part, Skeptical Raptor tackles Attorney Phillips’ science-based claims. Here, I address his legal claims. http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/natural-news-wrong-mandatory-vaccinations-part-2/
This post is the second post to examine a recent New Jersey case addressing the situation of a nurse, June Valent, who was dismissed after refusing to be vaccinated against influenza. Her hospital offered a religious and medical exemption, but she refused to make use of them, emphasizing her reasons were secular. The hospital dismissed her and refused to pay unemployment benefits for seven weeks. The court found in her favor.
This post focuses on the question whether a healthcare worker opposing influenza vaccine mandates can demand a medical exemption under the Americans with Disabilities Act or a religious exemption under Title VII to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, claiming discrimination.