More Than 100 Health Care Professionals and Staff Sue Hospital Over Vaccine Mandate, Warn Employees Are Not Human 'Guinea Pigs'
With the days ticking down to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs, 117 unvaccinated employees of Houston Methodist Hospital are fighting back against the hospital’s mandatory vaccination requirement.
The employees filed a lawsuit Friday saying that the requirement violates the law, according to The Washington Post.
“I will never take that vaccine,” plaintiff and nurse Jennifer Bridges said, according to the Houston Press. “Ever, ever, ever.”
“People trying to force you to put something into your body that you’re not comfortable with, in order to keep your job, is just insane,” Bridges said, according to KHOU-TV.
“I’m not an anti-vax person. If you want to get it, by all means, get it. I don’t take that away from anybody. Just let everybody have a choice and the right to make their own decision,” Bridges said.
The lawsuit was filed by Jared Woodfill, who claims that the hospital is violating standards of ethics known as the Nuremberg Code, created after World War II to ban experimentation on people without their consent, according to KHOU.
“Methodist Hospital is forcing its employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment,” the lawsuit said, according to The Post.
The vaccination rule “requires the employee to subject themselves to medical experimentation as a prerequisite to feeding their families.”
The suit calls the vaccine an “experimental COVID-19 mRNA gene modification injection.”
Marc Boom, president and CEO of Houston Methodist, said the law is on the hospital’s side, and noted it has a long-standing requirement for employees to be vaccinated against the flu.
“As health-care workers, it is our sacred obligation to do whatever we can to protect our patients, who are the most vulnerable in our community,” Boom said. “We proudly stand by our employees and our mission to protect our patients.”
The vaccine requirement was announced in March, with a June 7 deadline.
Boom said 99 percent of the hospital’s 26,000 employees have complied.
“It is unfortunate,” he said, “that the few remaining employees who refuse to get vaccinated and put our patients first are responding in this way.”
According to the Houston Press, Bridges said “she hopes the Montgomery County district court could block Houston Methodist from firing its vaccine-averse employees on June 7 even if the case still hasn’t been settled by then.”
“We’re going to be talking to the judge, of course, to see if we can get an injunction and a temporary possible restraining order on it,” Bridges told the publication. “That’ll be in our court hearing next week, so hopefully if he grants it to us, we might have a chance to get this frozen, or at least postponed.”
Woodfill said that the fact that the Food and Drug Administration has not approved the vaccine, which is being used through an emergency authorization, is central to the issue.
“You can’t fire someone for refusing to do something illegal, and if you look at federal law, it makes it very clear that it’s illegal to force someone to participate in a vaccine trial,” Woodfill said, according to KHOU.
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