- Sunday, June 06, 2021 – Ramon Tomey
The suit filed by 117 plaintiffs accused the Houston Methodist hospital network of “illegally requiring its employees to be injected with an experimental vaccine.” It added that the hospital is forcing staff members to be “human guinea pigs” as a condition for continued employment.
According to the lawsuit, Houston Methodist CEO Marc Boom told the 26,000 staff members of the hospital network to get the COVID-19 vaccine before June 7. Anyone who fails to get inoculated by the deadline would be fired.
Registered nurse and plaintiff Kim Mikeska is among those facing termination as she does not want to get the vaccine. She told the Houston Chronicle: “This is my body, this is my choice. I don’t think employers or anyone should mandate what goes into my body.” Mikeska added: “This is about my liberty and my freedom. I’m standing up for every American, for the freedom to choose … [and] the liberty to have autonomy over your own body.”
The suit’s lead plaintiff and registered nurse Jennifer Bridges said she will not get the COVID-19 vaccine as she is not comfortable with it. Despite having received “every vaccine known to man” in the past, she believed that the COVID-19 vaccines needed further study. Bridges told the Chronicle that she would rather lose her job and suffer the short-term financial impact than suffer an adverse reaction that could affect her whole life. “I’m totally prepared to get fired if I have to. We will hold [Houston Methodist] accountable for what they’re doing,” she said.
Meanwhile, Boom completely dismissed the facts in the lawsuit and said that the COVID-19 vaccines are “not experimental.” He also defended his decision to require Houston Methodist employees to get vaccinated. “It is legal for health care institutions to mandate vaccines, as we have done with the flu vaccine since 2009,” Boom said.
Requiring employees to get COVID-19 vaccines blatantly violates the Nuremberg Code
The ten points of the Nuremberg Code
- The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.
- The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.
- The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.
- The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.
- No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.
- The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.
- Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.
- The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment.
- During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.
- During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.
Houston Methodist Spokeswoman Amy Rose confirmed the June 7 deadline for COVID-19 vaccination. She added that close to 99 percent of the hospital’s total workforce have now received at least dose of COVID-19 vaccines. Rose said in a statement: “Houston Methodist is adamant that we do everything in our power to protect our patients. Our decision to mandate the [COVID-19] vaccine for all our employees was not made lightly.”
But attorney Jared Woodfill, who filed the lawsuit in Texas’s Montgomery County, was not convinced.
He told local news outlets that Houston Methodist’s vaccine mandate “is a severe and blatant violation of the Nuremberg Code and the public policy of the state of Texas.”
The code clearly outlined that “the voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.” It further elaborated that persons “should have legal capacity to give consent … without the intervention of any element of force.” Incidentally, Bridges said that Houston Methodist managers and supervisors are “bullying” unvaccinated employees by constantly asking about their vaccine status. She added that this bullying was done in the presence of other workers – further strengthening the suit’s argument.
The Food and Drug Administration authorized three vaccines for emergency use – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – to address COVID-19 in the U.S. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said more than 272 million doses of the three vaccines have been administered as of May 17. However, the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System recorded more than 200,000 adverse events related to vaccines. It also recorded 4,863 deaths as part of the adverse reactions.
OSHA did a 180-degree turn on its earlier decision about required vaccines
On a side note, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its guidance with regard to COVID-19 vaccinations. Early this year, the agency said that adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine can be considered as work-related injuries if employers require them. It added that such adverse reactions can be recorded if they are new cases and they meet general criteria – such as affected employees needing days off from work and medical treatment beyond first aid.
OSHA added that it will not hold employers liable for any vaccines they recommend – including the ones for COVID-19. However, the agency clarified that vaccination must be truly “voluntary” for the rule to apply. It meant that an employee would not suffer any repercussions such as a negative performance rating or hindered professional advancement if they choose not to get vaccinated.
But later, OSHA walked back on its earlier guidance and announced it will not require employers to record their workers’ COVID-19 side effects anymore. It explained: “The [Department of Labor] and OSHA, as well as other federal agencies, are working diligently to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 [vaccines] and does not wish to dis-incentivize employers’ vaccination efforts.”
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