New England Journal of Medicine
Volume 361, Issue 21
Attitude of Health Personnel; Civil Rights; Health Personnel--legislation & jurisprudence; Influenza Vaccines; Mandatory Programs--legislation & jurisprudence; Vaccination--legislation & jurisprudence; Vaccines; Women's Health
New York State’s regulations require health care workers who have direct contact with patients or who may expose patients to disease to be vaccinated against seasonal and H1N1 influenza. Courts must take into account Constitutional guarantees of personal autonomy, freedom of contract, and freedom of religion when reviewing the current lawsuits. These rights, however, have been constrained when they conflict with government measures that are intended to protect the community’s health and safety. Health care workers have a profound effect on patients’ health. Although they have the same rights as all private citizens, it is likely that courts will continue to make the health and safety of patients the priority in permitting exceptions to individual rights.
Stewart, A.M. (2009). Mandatory vaccination of health care workers. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(21), 2015-2021.