A federal judge in Texas Dismissed lawsuit brought by Houston Methodist Hospital staff Who challenged the hospital’s Covid vaccination requirement.
US District Judge Lynn Ann Hughes for the Southern District of Texas issued a ruling on Saturday that upheld the new hospitalization policy announced in April. The judge said the hospital’s decision to make vaccinations mandatory for its staff was in line with public policy.
And they rejected the claim of Jennifer Bridges, a nurse and the main plaintiff in the lawsuit, that vaccines available for use in the United States were experimental and dangerous.
“Hospital staff are not participating in human trials,” Judge Hughes wrote. “Methodist is trying to do its business of saving lives without giving them the Covid-19 virus. This is a choice made to keep staff, patients and their families safe.”
The judge’s decision appears to be one of the first to rule in favor of employer-mandated vaccinations for workers. Many major hospital systems are beginning to require COVID shots, including: Washington DC, and Maryland.
But many private employers and the federal government have not instituted mandatory vaccinations because they shift operations back to office settings. Earlier this year, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released guidance Allowing employers to require vaccines for those working on site.
In Houston, Ms Bridges was among those who walked out on Monday over the deadline to receive the vaccine from the hospital. and on Tuesday, Hospital suspends 178 employees Who refused to take the coronavirus shot.
Ms Bridge cited a lack of full Food and Drug Administration approval for the shot as a justification for refusing to vaccinate. But the FDA, which granted emergency use authorization for three vaccines, says clinical trials and post-market studies show they are safe, as does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The judge also noted that Texas employment law protects employees from termination only for refusing to perform an act that carries criminal penalties.
“Bridge can freely choose to accept or reject a COVID-19 vaccine, although if she refuses, she will simply need to work elsewhere,” he also dismissed the argument that employees was being forced.
And the judge called the trial’s argument “reprehensible” that the need for vaccination was tantamount to a medical experiment during the Holocaust.
In a statement late Saturday, Houston Methodist chief executive Dr. Mark Boom said: “Our staff and physicians make their decisions for our patients, who are always at the center of everything we do.”
Houston Methodist said it would initiate proceedings to sack employees who were suspended for not being vaccinated by June 21.
Employee plaintiff’s attorney Jared Woodfil also issued a statement Saturday, According to news reports, This indicated that activists would appeal against the decision.