Patients can refuse a flu shot. Should doctors and nurses have that right, too? That is the thorny question surfacing as U.S. hospitals increasingly crack down on employees who won’t get flu shots, with some workers losing their jobs over their refusal.
“Where does it say that I am no longer a patient if I’m a nurse,” wondered Carrie Calhoun, a longtime critical care nurse in suburban Chicago who was fired last month after she refused a flu shot….Most doctors and nurses do get flu shots. But in the past two months, at least 15 nurses and other hospital staffers in four states have been fired for refusing, and several others have resigned, according to affected workers, hospital authorities and published reports.
I certainly agree that health care workers should be strongly encouraged to be immunized, as they work in a place where infectious people, and people at the greatest risk for dying of the disease, will congregate. Still if the patients (and the general population, as they don’t become patients until they become sick) aren’t being forced to be immunized, then they are just as much of a disease vector as the workers.
Also with philosophies like herd immunity a few refusals (which what this whole article is about) isn’t going to matter.
It seems a shame to be making so much noise about this.
h/t Mrs. Weer’d