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Supreme Court to unvaccinated Mass General Brigham employees: You want your jobs back right away? Get your shots

US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer today rejected a request by a small group of Mass General Brigham employees to make the hospital system give them their jobs back while they fight in court to overturn a hospital requirement they get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Breyer, who was assigned to consider the request for an emergency injunction while the employees' case was pending in federal court in Boston, declined to forward their request to the full court without comment. He had earlier agreed to have the full court consider a similar request from health-care workers in Maine, but the court decided last month that Maine had the right to require vaccinations.

A total of eight employees had sued Mass General Brigham over its Nov. 5 vaccination deadline, although their lawyer claimed he represented more than 260 employees. One got the shot and kept his or her job, one quit and the six remaining workers were terminated on Nov. 5; with the proviso they could get rehired on proof of vaccination.

All eight claimed religious exemptions, including one oncologist and one RN, either because testing of the vaccines involved cells derived from aborted fetuses several decades ago or because they did not believe God wanted them to tamper with their sacred DNA - despite doctors saying the vaccines do not change DNA. Several also claimed medical exemptions, including a pregnant worker and a worker whose experienced swelling with flu shots.

Federal judges in Boston said the hospital had a right to do everything reasonable to protect patients and other workers from a potentially fatal disease, including requiring vaccinations.

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Comments

“With the proviso they could get rehired on proof of vaccination.”

That’s incredible. You may have stuck your dumb dumb head in the sand for a year and cost us a ton in lawyer fees as you took your “I don’t care about medicine” case to the Supreme Court, but sure, welcome back.

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Can the public have a list of them so we can make sure to decline them as our providers?

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Should loose their job. Routinely dealing with people with compromised or no immune system.

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ROBERTA LANCIONE
JOYCE MILLER
MARIA DIFRONZO
MICHAEL SACCOCCIO
ELIZABETH BIGGER
NATASHA DICICCO
NICHOLAS ARNO
RUBEN ALMEIDA

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it says there are more though

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This came up at one of the hearings in court in Boston: Their attorney said he'd be more than happy to introduce all of them, but that would take time and the filing of 260+ affidavits and their attorney (the guy, I forgot to mention in the original post, who also brought suit on behalf of the two UMass students who didn't want shots either and who also lost) said he only named eight at first to save the court time.

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What if they had to wear a large sticker saying "I AM NOT VACCINATED"? Who would still agree to be treated by them?

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The roughly 20% of the state's population that is inexplicably refusing to get vaccinated.

A hospital that advertised services for the unvaccinated, by the unvaccinated, they'd probably have a successful business untill the staff becomes too sick to work.

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Many anti-vaxxers say they don't need to get their kids vaccinated because of herd immunity. So they rely on other people being vaccinated. Obviously herd immunity works when we have all eligible people getting vaccinated in order to protect those who can't because of immunocompromised states etc., and doesn't work if we have eligible people deciding they're going to rely on the herd rather than be the herd.

There was an article somewhere about anti-vax parents in some community in California moving their kids to different schools when theirs was reported to have a super-low vaccination rate (for routine early childhood immunizations -- this was pre-COVID) because of people who won't vaccinate their eligible kids. So there may well be folks who want people coming in contact with their family to be vaccinated, but won't get it themselves.

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Many anti-vaxxers say they don't need to get their kids vaccinated because of herd immunity

"I don't need to contribute to this group project that benefits me, as long as everyone else does."

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We need health care workers, and the point of requiring vaccination is to protect public health, not to punish people for having done the wrong thing. We're still in the middle of a pandemic, meaning there's more need for doctors, nurses, and other health care workers than usual, and fewer available, because a lot of health care workers having died of covid, and more got sick and survived, but still aren't well enough to work, weeks or months later.

If it helps, think of offering them their jobs back as an incentive for them to get the vaccine.

That feeling of superiority can be nice, but it's not going to treat a heart attack victim, or drive an ambulance, or read your X-rays.

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That feeling of superiority can be nice, but it's not going to treat a heart attack victim, or drive an ambulance, or read your X-rays.

And conveniently generated "sincerely held religious beliefs" don't do any of those things either.

I don't want anyone who preferences "belief" over science to be delivering medical care.

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Healthcare "professionals" with no freaking clue about how DNA and RNA work.

This is a giant bozo filter for those who are not only poorly educated to the point of gross incompetence, but also incurious about what is now middle-school level science.

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This is a giant bozo filter

It is, and we should enjoy a measure of confidence that people so essential to our health and safety are not bozos. To eeka's comment above, I'm not sure how rejecting care from a list of acknowledged bozos would work out IRL. I have declined care by a particular cardiologist (due to his treatment of my mother), but I was in possession of my faculties. Had I been unconscious, he would no doubt have been on my case. Would you submit your bozo list to the hospital in advance, and would they be obligated to honor it?

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This is exactly the argument made for requiring providers to demonstrate cultural competence and understanding of best practices. People defend "providers are entitled to their bigoted beliefs" by saying folks can just go somewhere else, but you really can't go somewhere else if you're in a small town, you have a rare condition, your insurance doesn't cover many providers, or you're unconscious. How about it just be a basic requirement of health providers that you believe in science and best practices? (Including the science showing us that bigotry and pseudoscience kill patients.)

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but we don't need workers that are actively working against health care.

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The "desperate need for providers" is an idea created by folks who don't want to be held accountable and want to keep their jobs while continuing to do harm. In reality, there are qualified folks kept out of the field by racism and ableism, and there are a ridiculous number of heavily staffed facilities for children and adults who've committed "crimes" like simple possession and children who've been removed from their homes for reasons of poverty and racism or really no reason at all. There are also a lot of chronic health needs that would be reduced at a societal level by just having a universal basic income. I've held so many healthcare jobs that just really don't need to exist, and don't exist in any such numbers in civilized countries.

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People voting for Trump have no place in health care.

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I don't care who my doctor voted for, but I do care that they are able to help me make well informed, evidence-based medical decisions.

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Consider the source. I believe that was trollage.

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but nonsense can't go unchecked.

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I absolutely care if my family's providers believe that blatant racism and transphobia are acceptable. Those beliefs fly in the face of healthcare research, and they kill people like us. A doctor who doesn't believe I'm as much of a human as they are cannot appropriately care for me. There is plenty of research demonstrating this.

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The 1st Circuit is allowing hospitals to mandate vaccines for employees but the 5th, 6th, 8th, and 11th have blocked the hospitals from mandating vaccines. The 5th has also blocked employers with over 100 employees from mandating vaccines. Breyer is simply kicking the ball down the road. When the circuit courts are obviously split the Supreme Court has a responsibility to resolve this classic states rights issue.

(NH was party to the case blocking mandates so NH hospitals can't mandate vaccinations.)

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..

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This is news to me. Do you have any case citations or even case names for those decisions in the other circuits?

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The only action I can think of in that combination of circuits is in regards to the OSHA vaccine mandate. That has nothing to do with employers setting their own policies, which means it has nothing to do with the topic at hand here in this story.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/11/06/biden-vaccine-order-blocked-fed...

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School is not voluntary, like a particular job, and the school was allowing some exemptions but not others.

The prison one is a lot closer, but I think part of the stay is related to the fact that the mandate was judicially ordered in the first place. Unlike in the hospital settings where the courts defer to the balancing that the hospital administrators are doing.

So I'm skeptical that there are appellate stays on hospitals' vaccination mandates. But I'm willing to be proven wrong.

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Most recent

Judge temporarily blocks Biden administration vaccine mandate for health-care workers in 10 states

That decision hinges on executive vs legislative authority.

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This is about (executive) governmental authority to impose a broad mandate.

This is quite different from a private employer's decision to impose a mandate on its employees.

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