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RuRnurse? RuRnurse? (New Member) New Member

Should HCW's be forced to donate organs after death?

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Hey, what's this doing in the pandemic flu forum?

There's a method to my madness here...I want to pose this question to those who are adamant that HCW's should be vaccinated, even against their wishes, or lose their jobs. I would like to hear some responses from those who think they should.

Keep in mind here, the only objections to refusing to be an organ donor are personal or religious...there are NO medical reasons for refusing to donate a healthy organ after death. Also keep in mind that thousands die each year waiting on a transplant list for an organ that never becomes available, while many more are buried or cremated WITH healthy organs.

So, let me pick some of your brains here...As HCW's, is it not our obligation to become organ donors? And, should it be a requirement for working in this field?

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This is called a straw man argument. Nothing to do with vaccination.

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"This is called a straw man argument. Nothing to do with vaccination."

Call it what you will, I am asking a bigger question about FORCING vaccination as a condition of employment, for the so-called greater good. Why is organ donation any different? Would that not also serve the greater good? Would it not save lives? As a HCW, do you think you have a RIGHT to refuse?

"I won't dignify the thread with a comment."

Then why post at all?

I can not believe some of the things I read here! Do folks actually have such tunnel-vision that they can't see the forest for the trees? As HCW's, we are required by LAW to respect our patient's rights to refuse meds or treatments, WITHOUT punishing them for their refusal. The minute someone swabs your arm with alcohol in preparation for a shot, YOU are a patient, why should you not recieve the same consideration?

The minute New York State made vaccination a requirement of employment for HCW's they opened a door. And trust me people, you DON'T want to go through that door! The freedoms we enjoy in this country were hard-won, and it scares the hell out of me that so many would just hand them over without a whimper, all for the "greater good", of course.

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Moved to the Ethics forum because it has nothing to do with Pandemic flu issues.

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It seems to me that you have every right to refuse the vaccinations.

What you don't have the right to do is endanger a vulnerable population. If the vaccination is sciences' best guess as to how effectively to limit infections, then leaving yourself more open than necessary to being infected also makes you a hazard to the people you care for professionally, as well as exposing you to the hazard of caring for actively infected people.

I don't have the knowledge base to be able to debate the pros and cons of the various studies on the subject. It sucks to be in the population singled out for mandatory vaccination, thus forcing one to choose one's job or one's right to refuse a drug.

Once again, IMHO, the real question is where is the line drawn?

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When I entered Nursing School (in nthe dark ages), vaccinations were required, to begin my education. With that starting out, wouldn't nurses be in accord with mandatory vaccination? Or has that gone the way of many things?

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"document.png Re: Should HCW's be forced to donate organs after death?

Moved to the Ethics forum because it has nothing to do with Pandemic flu issues."

That's ok, I was wondering where it went...It actually has a lot to do with this pandemic flu, because this was the issue that created the whole "forced vaccination" thing, and that's where I was going with it, but "Ethics" is fine, I'll take what I can get.

In response to "heron", (and thanks for responding with more than casual dismissal..), the thing is, in New York, they are 'trying on' a new power, the right to dictate mandatory medical treatment for specific segments of the population. Other states are watching, and will make their own decisions based on what happens here. This is beyond a purely medical issue. People who practice good hygiene, and a bit of common sense, are as good if not better at containing the spread of disease. Vaccination in many cases helps as well, but it alone is not the be-all, end-all solution. It is a substance injected into you that CAN have serious side effects...to say that you must pull up your sleeve and roll the dice or take your toys and go home (unemployed) is OUTRAGEOUS!

Is it not strange that HCW's are being told they must take the vaccine, but no mention of restricting visitors or other, unvaccinated persons, from entering and wandering about? Or, of other public employees, like postal workers, DMV folks, etc, who arguably have more contact with the public than we do? And, what of patients themselves? If I am a HCW, and one of my patients has refused the vaccine, who protects me? And do they get evicted for being a public menace?

No, this is being 'tried on' on HCW's in this fashion (the guilt-trip, and now, the mandate in NY) because as a rule, we are an easier target. We are used to taking orders and being team players. And convincing the public that unvaccinated HCW's are little "Typhoid Mary's" is easier than telling them that their mailman may be carrying some horrid disease, or that every time they go to the grocery store, they are exposed to scores of people with God knows what...besides, what would that do to the economy?

So, we get fingered, we are going to be the test case for something that may well result in people losing their rights to their own bodily integrity. Those who complain are ridiculed as being of the "tinfoil hat" crowd, or just ignorant and uninformed, and it easier to do when you have a hyped-up pandemic to scare the be-Jesus out of folks. People are more willing to give up their rights when they feel that they are under seige.

I used the "organ donation" question to ask people to THINK about what it really means to lose rights to your own body. And mandatory vaccinations, or any other medical treatment for that matter, take those rights away. This, in my opinion, poses a greater risk than the swine flu itself. Or the damned vaccine too, for that matter!

Some on the pandemic flu board have criticized me, and implied that I was "anti-vaccination". I am not. I have questions about it, but if someone wants it, they should have it. Those of us who don't should practice standard infection-control procedures, and wear masks if required. But we should have the right to say NO to the vaccination without being fired.

I believe that this is a power-grab, and not being done in the interest of public health. If they were REALLY interested in upping the number of HCW's getting vaccinated, they'd have simply kept up the hype about the swine flu, then said that it's available, but in SHORT SUPPLY. They'd have lines around the block the get the bloody thing. That's just human nature, and advertising 101. Their compliance rate would have gone through the roof.

No, they made it "mandatory" because they want to get that law on the books. To force the court challenge, and win by saying it's in the interest of public health. To chisel away at a citizen's right to bodily integrity. The organ donation question was just posed to get people to think about what it means to lose those rights.

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The power to mandate treatment is not new ... it's been true of tuberculosis and, in some states, I think, of syphilis for decades, now.

And, please, don't try to make your case by minimizing the risk, either to ourselves through caring for possibly/definitely infected people and through our care of immunologically compromised patients.

I don't have direct physical contact with my mailman in the same way that I do one of my patients. The risk, and therefore the ethical course of action, is different.

I've already acknowledged that it sucks to be on the receiving end of these requirements.

The real question is not whether you have the right to refuse ... it's pretty much understood that you do.

The question is whether you have the right to a job, even though you are unwilling to fulfill all the requirements of that job. A whole 'nother question and one that is ripe for debate.

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"The question is whether you have the right to a job, even though you are unwilling to fulfill all the requirements of that job. A whole 'nother question and one that is ripe for debate."

I'll acknowledge that. But I have worked at my facility for over 10 years, and mandatory vaccination was NOT part of the deal at the time I was hired. It was always voluntary. I did, in the past, recieve seasonal flu vaccine, but have had some issues, and don't wish to get any more. I practice good work hygiene,

(excellent, according to out infection-control nurse!), and have NEVER reported for duty while sick. I am less of a threat to you than your mailman, believe it or not!

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I have no problem with mandating that HCWs be vaccinated against many things, including a new, deadly flu.

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Good for you!

However, the argument for mandatory vaccination is an epidemiological one ... derived from aggregate risk, not individual practice. Many gay men, for instance, have changed their personal practice to reduce their risk for HIV infection, yet they remain a relatively high-risk group based on the epidemiology.

In this case, health care workers are on the wrong side of the curve. And, just based on your higher risk of exposure ... which you can't control ... you are a bigger risk than my mailman. Unless, of course, you assert that your infection control is both infallible and perfectly practiced all the time.

For me, the goal is only partially to protect me from infection ... it's also to prevent me from becoming the means of spreading it.

As healthcare workers we are exposed to much higher numbers of already-infected persons than the general public. We are also in contact with much higher numbers of immune compromised people. As human beings, we are just as vulnerable to breaches of infection control - aka mistakes - as any other human being.

These three considerations, balanced together, lead me to conclude that vaccination is probably better practice than not.

And changing job requirements are a fact of life. As an admittedly extreme example, if I persisted in treating upper gi bleeding with iced saline lavage, maybe I should lose my job!

IOW, it's a numbers game ... a weighing of probabilities and risk assessment.

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