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Do you think it’s fair to fire someone who refuses to get a flu shot?

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Hospital Workers Fired for Refusing to Get a Flu Shot

Posted by Deborah Cruz on January 4, 2013 

flu shotEight hospital employees have lost their jobs after refusing to get the flu shot, which became mandatory for all staff this year.

Workers at IU Health Goshen Hospital in Indiana had the option to file for medical or religious exemptions -- but were then given the boot when they wouldn't get the vaccine.

The hospital says its new stricter rules are meant to protect patients with weaker immune systems, since the flu can be particularly dangerous and even deadly if those people catch it. While I appreciate that they're looking out for their patients' well-being, I have to wonder: what about the rights of their own employees?

I understand the flu has a high mortality rate in people who already have weakened immune systems and could quite literally kill patients. I even understand why the hospital is trying to force their employees to get the flu shot, since not being vaccinated seems irresponsible when you work directly with sick people.

But if this were any other field and employers were trying to make their staff get this or any other vaccine, it would be considered an infringement on their rights and personal beliefs.

These hospital workers deserve to get their jobs back. For one thing, it's opening the door to other employers to require staff to get shots or other medical procedures as a contingency for employment. And for another, vaccines are a personal choice and carry with them some potential for harm, so if someone doesn't want one, they should not be forced to get it.

There has to be an alternative to people who have dedicated their entire lives to the field of medicine being given a pink slip because they don’t want the flu shot. Maybe there should be a forced leave of absence without pay during flu season or a quarantine in which those employees are prohibited from working with patients with compromised immune systems. But it makes no sense that they were given the chance to opt out -- only to be fired. That seems like discrimination to me.

Do you think it’s fair to fire someone who refuses to get a flu shot?

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Replies (281-288):
celestegood
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 6:17 PM
My mil was allergic to eggs, and could not get flu shots. I think if there is a medical reason to refuse, it should be ok to refuse.

Quoting lga1965:

 


Quoting gsmom9:


not if your allergic to the shot, and i wonder how much research was done on its effectiveness, as every year, the flu still hits bad at least once. the one year i didnt get the flu shot, i was one of the few that didnt get the flu, and i was on the front lines tending the sick.


 http://suite101.com/article/what-is-a-real-flu-shot-vaccine-allergy-a294205


this will answer your questions about being allergic to flu shots qnd what to do . You're likely to be allergic if you are allergic to eggs since the flu vaccine is incubated in eggs.If you eat eggs and have no reation to them then you won't be allergic to the flu shot.

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LilrockerMama
by Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 6:22 PM
I don't think it's fair at all. I'm 100% anti flu shot though so my opinion is biased lol
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Mrs.Sells
by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:43 PM

So I guess doctors and nurses shouldn't wear gloves or wash their hands anymore either. 

Quoting Liyoness:

It's unethical, plain and simple.
A person will carry the germs they come into contact with, regardless of whether they get sick themselves or not. A vaccine isn't going to prevent that.



Quoting Mrs.Sells:

But if company policy to to do everything within their power to protect patients, then yes it would be a requirment. 


Quoting Liyoness:

Not when it comes to what they put into their bodies.

That's like saying anyone who sells cigarettes can be stipulated into having to smoke to keep their job.

Or anyone who performs an abortion has to get one themself.

Or anyone who works in pharmaceudicals must sample certain products themselves.

Nope. Those kinds of things cross the line. No one should ever have to put something into their body that they do not want to in order to keep a job.

A flu shot has nothing to do with performing the job or representing your place of employment.


Quoting Mrs.Sells:

If it's a prerequisite, then it doesn't matter. That's what you don't get. If they give you the stipulation that if you want to work here, you have to do X,Y&Z. Then you do it.


Quoting Liyoness:

Apples to oranges. You're talking about carrying a part of your uniform/what you need to do your job vs injecting something completely unnecessary into your body. How are the two even remotely similar comparisons? If you want to compare it would be like a nurse not wanting to do IVs vs a cop not wanting to carry a gun.. 

Quoting Mrs.Sells:

So a person should be able to be a police officer even though they don't want to carry a gun or arrest people? If it's a requirement of the job and you don't want to do it, find a different job. 




Liyoness
by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Actually, that's my point. They're already changing their clothes, washing their hands frequently, and wearing gloves. They are taking every precaution available, aside from a bleach shower in a quarantined hallway on the way into the hospital. Getting a flu shot will not stop the ordinary transmission of germs through the hospital. It isn't even a very effective vaccine.

Quoting Mrs.Sells:

So I guess doctors and nurses shouldn't wear gloves or wash their hands anymore either. 

Quoting Liyoness:

It's unethical, plain and simple.
A person will carry the germs they come into contact with, regardless of whether they get sick themselves or not. A vaccine isn't going to prevent that.



Quoting Mrs.Sells:

But if company policy to to do everything within their power to protect patients, then yes it would be a requirment.




vixen42
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 3:47 PM

dh works as a miltary contractor and they gave out free flu shots one guy refused and he was fired on the spot.Apparently it is in his contract so maybe it is in theirs.He is fighting it but so far he is not getting anywhere

Laao
by Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Yikes no. Talk about Orwellian tactics, creepy. But, this is because I'm a holistic medicine person, and I'd never go into work with the flu. I take preventative measures to prevent the flu and never get the shots, anymore. 

MeAndTommyLee
by Gold Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 4:36 PM

We all have our unique set of `blueprints'.  I'd be worried if we did not.  Therefore, it is troubling in the sense that some people bodies are completely incompatible with the `vaccine' and risk their health and well being if injected.  I think it comes down to money, sick time and the prevailing American theory that one is a possession to their employer.  Time is money.

TNorris
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 9:10 AM

It's wrong for anyone to be forced to take a vaccine, even kids! There are laws in place that do not allow you to go after anyone when a vaccine has a negative affect on you child.  You basically just have to live with the fact.

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