The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Pennsylvania has overturned a lower court's decision to dismiss a nurse's lawsuit against Mount Nittany Medical Center for discriminating against her when she supplied a doctor's exemption to a mandatory tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine as a condition for continued employment, but was nevertheless terminated from employment for refusing to receive the vaccine. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) also appeared as amicus in the Third Circuit Court in support of Nurse Ruggiero and her claim for discrimination. The case will now go back to District Court in Pennsylvania, where Nurse Ruggiero will attempt to sue and collect damages for a wrongful termination of employment based on refusing a mandatory vaccine for medical reasons.
Department of Justice Sues County in Wisconsin Over Nurse Being Forced to Receive Flu Shot Against Her Religious Beliefs
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Ozaukee County, an affluent suburb just north of Milwaukee, for forcing a nursing assistant at their county-owned and operated nursing home and rehabilitation facility to receive a mandatory flu shot as a condition for her continued employment. Barnell Williams was a nursing assistant at Lasata Care Center, which has a policy of mandating flu shots for all of its employees. However, Lasata permitted employees to obtain a religious exemption from the vaccination requirement, allowing them to wear protective masks during the flu season instead of receiving the shot. According to the lawsuit, Williams applied for the religious exemption, but was denied because she was not part of a religious organization that had a "clergy" attest to her belief. Williams allegedly brought a "To Whom it May Concern" letter explaining her religious objection, as well as testimonials from others about the sincerity of her religious belief, but she was allegedly denied the opportunity to even present these documents.
Last month the Massachusetts Nurses Association sued Brigham and Women’s Hospital over a new policy that required nurses to receive the annual flu vaccine as a condition for employment. The nurses were criticized by the medical establishment. Lynn Nicholas, president of the Massachusetts Hospital Association, stated that the nurses were: "putting a pet peeve of theirs above the safety and well-being of the patients they serve, their families, visitors to the hospital, and their colleagues.” When nurses all across the United States and Canada are willing to sacrifice their jobs and careers to avoid the annual flu shot, it is time to sit up and take notice. Trish Powers, representing Brigham nurses in Boston, fired back a comment that The Boston Globe published. It is titled "Brigham nurses know flu vaccine can do harm."
We have frequently reported here at Health Impact News the stories of brave nurses standing up for their rights to refuse mandatory flu vaccinations as a condition for employment. There are current cases pending in litigation over this violation of civil rights and recently a New Jersey appeals court ruled in favor of a nurse who was denied employment based on her refusal of the annual flu vaccination. We have also reported here at Health Impact News that based on settled cases in the special vaccine court, the flu vaccine is the most dangerous vaccine in the United States based on settled cases. Most of the awards paid out for damages due to the flu vaccine are for cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). Much like the symptoms of polio, GBS sufferers can become totally paralyzed. Medical authorities know that this is a side effect of the flu vaccine, but the official claim is that it is only one out of one million. A quick list of settled claims each quarter will show that it is obviously much higher than this, however. The Morning Call of Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania is now reporting that one nurse's aide has been awarded $11.6 million for being paralyzed with GBS after receiving a flu shot. This is newsworthy, because pharmaceutical companies cannot be sued in civil court for damages due to vaccines. Congress gave them total immunity to such lawsuits in 1986 and that law was upheld by the pro-Pharma Supreme Court in 2011. Sales of vaccines include a tax that is paid to fund a special court where government attorneys fight for the U.S. government to prevent paying out damages due to vaccine. It is a long and difficult process, so settled cases represent only a tiny fraction of the amount of vaccine damaged people in our society.
We guard the privacy of patients in my hospital zealously—we take care of a lot of celebrities since we’re right in the shadow of Beverly Hills. And of course we live in terror of HIPAA violations, those federally mandated HHS rules that protect individually identifiable healthcare information and could bring down “civil money penalties” upon us if we don’t keep our patients’ medical records strictly confidential. But for healthcare workers—physicians, nurses, technicians, even medical supply vendors—in LA County, the usual privacy rules don’t apply any more. Now everybody gets to know at least some of our medical history: whether or not we’ve been vaccinated against influenza. How will anyone know whether or not I’ve had this year’s flu vaccine? Because policy dictates that I must publicly say so, whether I want to “out” that information or not. As of October 2013, all healthcare workers in Los Angeles County must be vaccinated against influenza or wear a protective mask any time they might have contact with patients or stray into patient care areas. This is an order that came down by fiat from Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the Director of the LA County Department of Public Health, and now applies in LA County to every hospital and care facility. In other southern California counties, healthcare personnel may still decide whether the risks of the flu vaccine outweigh the potential benefits, and keep that decision to themselves with the same right to medical privacy that everyone else has. But in LA County, you either get the vaccine or wear a mask, even if you’re perfectly healthy and haven’t got the slightest symptom of the flu. Because that’s what Dr. Fielding has ordered. Let me point out the obvious flaws in this system. If I should become ill with a strain of influenza that hasn’t been covered by this year’s vaccine, since I’ve been vaccinated I don’t have to wear a mask though I could be quite contagious for at least a day before I develop overt symptoms. No hospital (to my knowledge) is requiring patients’ visitors and families to provide evidence of flu vaccination or wear masks, though they go in and out of patient care areas at will. If we are really to be logical and scientific about flu transmission, either we all should wear masks or none of us should bother.
As 2014 begins to unfold, it is becoming clear that the medical care industry is facing a crisis. We have already reported about how many doctors are refusing to participate in the new Obamacare health insurance exchanges. But another unintended consequence of new medical care legislation is the refusal of nurses to comply with new mandatory flu vaccination requirements. With a nation-wide shortage in nurses already problematic long before Obamacare was implemented, things are only going to get worse. Nurses across the United States are choosing to lose their jobs rather than submit to forced mandatory flu vaccinations. This began last flu season, in 2012, and we reported many stories of brave nurses standing up for their rights and refusing to submit to mandatory flu vaccinations as a requirement to keeping their jobs. Unfortunately, many of our nation's best nurses were already lost at the beginning of the 2012-2013 flu season as new mandates in Obamacare kicked in, requiring medical care facilities to have a 90% compliance to the flu vaccine as a requirement to receive full reimbursements for Medicare and Medicaid. The trend towards losing nurses over the mandatory flu vaccine has continued this flu season, in 2013-2014. For example, Dreonna Breton, a registered nurse in Pennsylvania, lost her job recently due to refusing the vaccine on medical grounds. She is pregnant, and has a history of miscarriages. Her doctor advised her NOT to get the flu vaccine, but her hospital refused her exemption and fired her. For those nurses who are granted exemptions to avoid the flu vaccine, they are forced to wear masks while at work, for the entire flu season. Since studies show that even those who are vaccinated can still pass on the influenza virus, and since the requirement to vaccinate 90% of medical care workers with the flu vaccine is a financial consideration for getting the full federal funds available for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, this requirement to single out those refusing vaccines is a clear case of discrimination and harassment. Nurses across the country are gathering together on the Internet, such as the Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines Facebook Page, and proudly displaying their masks as badges of honor in not giving in to intimidation and medical tyranny. They are some of the few honorable people left in the corrupt medical system.
Senior Nursing Student Dismissed After Objecting to Instructors Promoting Manipulation and Misleading Information to Coerce Parents that Deny Vaccines
As we reported here in the past, our nation is losing our top nurses due to the vaccine issue, specifically forced flu vaccinations. Intelligent nurses who are knowledgeable of the risks of the flu vaccine are choosing to lose their jobs as opposed to complying to mandatory flu vaccines, which have been shown to be ineffective in protecting patients to begin with. Now, some of our brightest young potential nurses are being culled out of nursing school simply for questioning the ethics involved in trying to coerce people into accepting vaccines against their will.
Last year we saw an increase in healthcare facilities requiring nurses and other healthcare workers to receive mandatory flu vaccinations as a requirement for employment. We learned that new mandates for mandatory flu vaccinations of healthcare workers was tied into new requirements for Obamacare. Failure to meet certain percentages of a healthcare facility's employees as vaccinated for influenza jeopardized their federal reimbursement of Medicare and Medicaid funds. As a result, many of our nation's top nurses who are opposed to vaccinations lost their jobs, and many more face losing their jobs this year as well. We reported many of these brave nurses stories last year. Now, a recent meta-analysis study just published this month by the CDC reveals that flu vaccinations among healthcare workers offer no evidence of protection to the patients under their care! Predictably, the CDC still recommends flu shots for healthcare workers because "It's the best intervention we currently have, so we need to keep using it while working toward a better flu vaccine." So in other words, mandatory flu vaccinations of healthcare workers will continue, in spite of the lack of evidence that they work to protect patients. Read More.
by Barbara Loe Fisher
National Vaccine Information Center
Women, Vaccines & Bodily Integrity
2013 was only a few days old when I saw a photo of 61-year old Ethel Hoover, a veteran hospital nurse, who had only missed 4 or 5 days of work in 22 years, she was fired from her job for declining to get a flu shot.
Massachusetts Nurses Association
In the last month, a number of hospitals have implemented the mandatory masking policy, including Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Lawrence General Hospital, Boston Medical Center to name a few. Since the policy has been implemented, the MNA/NNU has received dozens of calls and emails from […]