Today’s New York Times has an article supporting the right of that city’s health care workers to refuse both the seasonal and H1N1 vaccinations. It brings up some very good points, like the question, why is it ethical to violate one group of peoples’ rights over another’s, and do states have the right to enact it?
Presenting mandatory vaccination of nurses (and other health care workers) as an ethical responsibility, is a tactic utilizing the media’s representation of nurse- as-angel: ever- willing to sacrifice his or her own feelings of safety to save the world. I don’t worry about the Nurse Jackies, or Hawthornes, but when media-produced stereotypes extend to manipulate a group of people into believing that self-sacrifice, without justification, is necessary, they are harmful. Nurses are just people, like everyone else. We have rights over our own bodies, and the choices we make about them.
Read the article: