Flu shot controversy bizarre

Sentinel editor Cameron Orr finds baffling the controversy around flu shots for health workers.

I can’t believe the flu shot is considered a contentious issue in this province.

I was reading a story that the Health Sciences Association of B.C. has filed a grievance on behalf of their workers, arguing against a new provincial policy that health care providers who do not get their flu shot must wear masks.

Those who do get a sticker indicating they’ve received it.

“They have a right to keep that private,” argues union president Reid Johnson.

“To be identified as having taken their flu shot or not taken it, we believe is a human rights issue.”

I can almost, almost, see their side of the argument.

Except these people are health care workers and there are times that I feel patient rights just plain trump human rights. (If you even buy that this is a human rights issue to begin with.)

Here’s how I see it; if I’m a patient being treated by a nurse or doctor or whomever, I feel better knowing they’ve taken care to either prevent illness for themselves or taken steps to reduce any possible transmission to me.

I’m not sick or broken by choice. I’m already in the health system in a vulnerable state.

Isn’t it disrespectful to me as a patient to be exposed to possible further illness?

I’m actually surprised care workers weren’t already required to have a shot. Health authorities tell people each year to get a flu shot if you’re around the elderly or children.

If I’m not mistaken, that’s a large chunk of the demographic who receives regular health care.

Wouldn’t it be incumbent on care givers to follow their own advice and take further steps to protect patients’ health?

I have to side with the dean of Simon Fraser University’s health science’s faculty John O’Neil who said in a Black Press story that it’s “irresponsible” for those in public health to not take every possible precaution.

Back to the union’s side, they argue that there are many reasons people don’t get a flu shot, due to personal, philosophical or religious reasons, and that needs to be respected.

Exactly. So grab a face mask.

Cameron Orr is the editor of the Northern Sentinel.

Just Posted

Pacific Northern Gas moves to reinstate full capacity and expand pipeline

Increased supply and demand could mean lower rates for North Coast customers, PNG says

CN train derailment cleared between Terrace and Prince Rupert

The CN mainline is now open, following a train derailment mid-way between… Continue reading

Kitimat’s BC Hydro substation receives a massive upgrade

It will cost $82 million to ensure that LNG Canada has enough… Continue reading

Comment requested for Kitimat LNG’s expansion plans

Company says radical redesign means additional export is possible

Haisla Nation Council appoints Stewart, Renwick

Two recently elected Haisla Nation councillors, Kevin Stewart and Arthur Renwick, have… Continue reading

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Surrey court clerk files human rights complaint related to concussion

Deborah A. Ryane claims her employer discriminated against her on basis of mental disability

Coast Tsimshian sign historic stewardship agreement

Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla plan to work as one to preserve traditional lands

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read