The Flathead Valley’s Leading Independent Journal of Observation, Analysis, & Opinion. © James R. Conner.


9 January 2013

Fire health care workers who won’t get flu shots

Three cheers for Indiana University Health Goshen Hospital. It fired eight employees, including at least three nurses, for refusing mandatory flu shots. That’s the only responsible response to fools who refuse the shots, and every hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, pharmacy, nursing home, and health care provider, should employ it. Even in Montana; even in the Flathead.

Influenza kills, and is especially dangerous to the aged, infirm, and very young. We expect and require that health care workers do no harm. In my opinion, a health care worker who refuses a flu shot and then passes the flu on to a patient who dies from the disease does harm, exhibits a reckless disregard for human life, and should be subject to criminal penalties.

Legislation to this effect should be passed by the Montana Legislature and signed into law by Governor Bullock. Should there be exemptions for religious beliefs, philosophical objections, or medical conditions? No. Fire the religious and philosophical objectors, and prohibit those with medical conditions precluding influenza vaccinations from working in health care during the flu season. No exceptions.