Flu shots have become mandatory in most health care facilities now that the flu is so rampant and deadly this year. However, some employees may feel that they should not be forced to get one, even if it protects their patients from getting the flu. According to ABC News, eight nurses in an Indiana hospital have been fired for refusing to be vaccinated.
Indiana University Goshen Hospital imposed a mandatory call for all of their employees to receive the vaccine in order to slow the spread of the flu. With the influenza coming early this year, concerns for the health and safety among those people that are already sick and vulnerable have taken preference. Indiana has now become on the high list of the flu activity level.
61-year-old Ethel Hoover, one of the fired nurses, had been with the hospital for 21 years and worked in the critical care unit. Her last day of employment was December 21 in which she dressed herself in all black to represent her mourning of the job she loved so much. "This is my body. I have a right to refuse the flu vaccine," she told ABC. "For 21 years, I have religiously not taken the flu vaccine, and now you're telling me that I believe in it." She had already filed two medical exemptions, a religious exemption and two appeals in order to keep her job. However, they were all denied and she was let go.
A hospital spokesperson said that the well being of their patients is the top priority, which is why the flu shot is a requirement. Hoover's attorney, Alan Phillips, stated that the nurse had every right to refuse to be vaccinated under the act that prohibits religious discrimination of employees. He said, "If your personal beliefs are religious in nature, then they are a protected belief." Physicians on the other hand believe that the patient comes first to protect from any further health complications.
This controversy continues to be much debatable. This Indiana hospital is certainly not the only health care facility to let go of their employees that refuses to comply to this mandate.
What is your stand on this issue? Should workers be forced to get vaccinated against the flu to protect the patient or does this go against employee rights?
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