Houston Hospital Workers File Suit Over Employer's Vaccine Mandate

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

Employees at Houston Methodist Hospital are required to receive the coronavirus vaccine before June 7 – or lose their jobs. More than 100 of the network’s 26,000 employees are giving that mandate a hard pass, saying the hospital cannot require it by law because it essentially “requires the employee to subject themselves to medical experimentation as a prerequisite to feeding their families.”

Attorney Jared Woodfill told ABC News:

“To promote its business and increase profits at the expense of other health care providers and their employees’ health, Defendants advertise to the public that they ‘require all employees and employed physicians to get a COVID-19 vaccine.’ More clearly, Defendants’ employees are being forced to serve as human ‘guinea pigs’ to increase Defendants’ profits,” Woodfill said.

“It is a severe and blatant violation of the Nuremberg Code and the public policy of the state of Texas,” he added on the vaccine requirement.

The Nuremberg code is a set of medical ethics standards created after World War II that is designed to prevent medical experimentation on human subjects without consent.

Despite thousands of adverse reactions being reported and the usage of one vaccine being halted for a time due to potentially life-threatening blood clots, The Washington Post found experts who’d go on record calling the employees’ concerns “absurd”:

Experts said the notion that the vaccines were “experimental” or based on an untested technology was incorrect.

“This claim is absurd indeed,” Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University, told The Washington Post.

“There were tens of thousands of people who were in the Phase 3 clinical trials for the mRNA vaccines, and no safety concerns were found,” Iwasaki told The Post in an email.

Houston Methodist’s CEO issued a written statement to ABC News saying:

“It is unfortunate that the few remaining employees who refuse to get vaccinated and put our patients first are responding in this way. It is legal for health care institutions to mandate vaccines, as we have done with the flu vaccine since 2009. The COVID-19 vaccines have proven through rigorous trials to be very safe and very effective and are not experimental.”

The hospital says that they provide religious and medical exemptions for employees who don’t want to receive the vaccine for those reasons. On Friday the EEOC issued a guidance saying that it is legal for employers to require employees to be vaccinated to physically return to work given they provide accommodations for those who cannot or will not due to religious beliefs or medical conditions.

In the documents I’ve read, I can’t find what the policy would be for those who’ve had a documented COVID-19 infection and recovered. It would seem, especially based on studies recently published, that those natural antibodies are just as effective – if not more so – as vaccine-created antibodies.

Again, the vaccine may be very safe and very effective for most people, but the contention that it’s been through rigorous trials is laughable.