I completely support CHOP for their decision to fire employees who refuse vaccination, and my reasoning is exactly the same as Phil Plait’s in this blog. I’ve had to take both my kids to CHOP for unusual issues, and every time they helped when local docs were unable to diagnose the problems.
I would hate to have had the additional worry that those CHOP employees who helped us were deliberately compromised by a selfish belief which put MY already quite sick children at further risk. Additionally, I completely do not comprehend WHY someone whose abiding belief is that medicine is wrong has educated themselves to work in the field, or would even WANT to WORK in a hospital. What freaking disconnect is THAT???
In today’s world of global exposure to all sorts of illnesses, I have mixed feelings about vaccinations not being mandatory. I respect one’s right to not use medicine if they are so convinced that it’s WRONG, but I believe the right of the majority to do everything in their power to avoid disease TRUMPS the right of the minority who will not protect themselves… if they are in any way out in the world.
One of the times we went to CHOP was that my son got Pertussis. As an infant, he had an allergic reaction to the pertussis vaccine, and thus was unable to get the series. The doctors assured me that it wasn’t an issue since ‘everyone else is vaccinated’. Weeeell, when he and his dad contracted the disease (possibly from a restaurant waiter), the Health Department told me that there was a religious group in Chester county which refuses all vaccinations, and that pertussis and other diseases which could be eliminated are coming back — right here where we live, and in many areas around the country (and world). Both Derek and his dad have cough-variant asthma. Pertussis is a disease of relentless, wracking coughing. The combination caused them both many months of severe illness, and ultimately also cost me my job since I had to take so much time off to care for my 12 yr old with Pertussis.
The effects of these religious decisions are not limited to that group alone, but extend well into the majority who suffer despite their efforts to protect themselves. It is my opinion that certain specialized jobs should mandate vaccinations as part of the job requirements. Medical fields, food services, education, sales, frequent travelers and travel workers — any career in which one regularly comes in contact with a large number of people are examples of jobs in which workers should be vaccinated.
Phil Plait’s blog on this issue is from Bad Astronomy at Discovery.com… link below.
Blogs / Bad Astronomy
HOSPITAL WORKERS FIRED FOR REFUSING VACCINATIONS
NBC is reporting that several workers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were fired for refusing to get vaccinated. CHP cares for very sick children, many of whom have compromised immune systems or are too young to get vaccinated.
The twist? Some of the employees refused vaccinations for religious reasons:
“I am a Christian, and my religion prohibits me from receiving vaccines,” said Tyrika Cowlay, who was a lab technician.
First and foremost, this isn’t a religious issue. It’s a safety issue. I mean, c’mon. We know vaccinations prevent the spread of diseases, especially among children, and even more so among those who are too young to be vaccinated themselves — herd immunity is all those infants have.
Second, I’m thinking that if your religion forbids you from vaccinations (and to my knowledge, mainstream Christianity does not preclude them), then maybe a children’s hospital isn’t the best line of work for you (any more than an orthdox Jew should work at a pork rendering factory). That may seem harsh, but let’s replace a few words in the linked article and see how you feel:
Several Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia employees were fired for refusing to wash their hands after using the bathroom. Read the rest of the article here