Should medical workers be required to receive flu shots even if doing so violates the worker’s personal beliefs?
In solving controversial ethical issues, it is important to understand the basic ethical values and principles. It is proposed that decision making under conditions of uncertainty should consider the critical role of rational belief and personal choices (Kahneman, 1991, p. 142). In a case where the medical workers are required to receive flu shots even though doing so violates the worker’s personal beliefs raises ethical concerns. There are those who believe that by making flu shots a condition of employment takes away the right to make personal medical decision, and they have concerns about the safety of the vaccine despite the assurance of medical experts (Johnson, 2011, p. 253). Others consider it an encroachment in their own liberty. In such a scenario, Potter believes that there is a need to take into account important duties or loyalties when making ethical choices (Johnson, 2011, p. 253). Potter makes a proposal of the factors to be considered which includes; loyalty to patients, loyalty to self, loyalty to vulnerable populations, loyalty to fellow employees, loyalty to others in the same profession and loyalty to the public (p.253). According to Johnson (2011), “health care workers who refuse flu shots also damage the credibility of the medical profession” p.254. It rises ironical question of why should patients be vaccinated if their doctors and nurses don’t think it is safe? In such a case, individual rights should not surpass primary obligation and duty, which is to serve the patient. Normally, when a person makes a choice in career there are certain obligations and responsibilities that a person accepts that comes with some terms and conditions. Therefore, it is important to consider the primary duty when offering service to other. However, personal belief and choices should be valued.
Johnson, C. E. (2011). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow. Sage publication.
Kahneman, D. (1991). Judgment and decision making: A personal view. Psychological science, 2(3), 142-145.