Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



New England Journal of Medicine


Volume 361, Issue 21

Inclusive Pages



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.

Open Access


Included in

Health Policy Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.