– Hospital fires EIGHT veteran nurses because they refused to take flu shot for religious reasons (Daily Mail, Jan 1, 2013):
An Indiana hospital has fired eight employees, many of them veteran nurses, because they refused to take the flu vaccine.
IU Health Goshen is just the latest hospital to force its employees to receive the jab and fire or discipline the ones who object.
At least four of the nurses who was terminated tried to appeal the vaccine on religious grounds with the help of a lawyer. The hospital rejected their arguments and fired them anyway.
The Elkhart Truth reports that the hospital informed its staff in early September that vaccinations would be mandatory for all employees.
The hospital said it was following guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association, which both recommend mandatory vaccinations for employees.
As a hospital and health system, our top priority is and should be patient safety, and we know that hospitalized people with compromised immune systems are at a greater risk for illness and death from the flu,’ hospital spokeswoman Melanie McDonald told the newspaper.
‘The flu has the highest death rate of any vaccine preventable disease, and it would be irresponsible from our perspective for health care providers to ignore that.’
The nurses, though, say the mandate tramples on their own deeply-held religious beliefs.
‘I feel like in my personal faith walk, I have felt instructed not to get a flu vaccination, but it’s also the whole matter of the right to choose what I put in my body and what I feel God wants me to put in versus someone mandating what I put in,’ Joyce Gingerich told the Truth.
Ms Gingerich, an oncology nurse who worked at the hospital in Goshen for 25 years, said she didn’t want to leave her patients or her job – but she said she couldn’t compromise her religious beliefs.
Sue Schrock, a hospice nurse, said she has not had a flu vaccine for 30 years as a result of a choice she made because of her Christian faith.
She said compromising that position was unthinkable.