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It's time to hire back & pay back wages to people fired over vaccine mandates
Unethical policies require correction
Recently, I saw this article about teachers receiving back pay for being fired for declining COVID-19 vaccines.
It's time to have a public discussion about extending this to everyone similarly fired.
The facts are clear: a long standing principle of medical ethics is in order to mandate a personal health intervention, it is not sufficient to show a personal health benefit. You can't force people to take blood pressure pills, for instance, even though it has overwhelming data it would be good for hypertensives. You can’t fire someone for having a blood pressure of 140/90, who declines medication because he believe it makes him tired.
Instead, to mandate a medical intervention you have to have a strong confidence that that mandate benefits third parties, and moreover that the benefit is so large, it outweighs the loss of autonomy.
Let's also remember that the company that manufactures the product has a vested interest in creating more mandates.
When it comes to Covid vaccination. The ethical criteria to mandate was never met.
First, in December 2020 until May 2021, there was no evidence that forcing someone to get vaccinated provided a benefit beyond the vaccine you chose for yourself. In other words, if I’m worried about myself, I could choose to get vaccinated. If I force the people around me to do it, I didn't further improve my own outcome. There was no evidence that suggested this. Ergo it was unethical to mandate. Interestingly, no mandates occurred during this time period because of scarce supply.
Second, the moment it was clear covid-19 vaccines could not halt transmission, it was also unethical to mandate. No matter how many people you forced to get it, covid would still eventually spread to everyone. This was well known by the summer of 2021. And yet, nearly all the mandates fell after this date.
If public health directly, or indirectly through corporations or employers, improperly used the power of mandate, legal remedy is necessary. Here is my path forward:
1 Anyone fired should be offered their job back
2 Everyone fired should be given back pay
3 People should be given a payment for emotional suffering from being fired
4 The CDC which set the stage for this policy and the current administration should shoulder these burdens as they are responsible for pushing employers to do it.
COVID19 vaccine mandates were unethical. Employers need to be litigated to pay people what they are owed. Public health should foot the tab.