A federal judge tossed out a lawsuit from more than 100 hospital employees who sued Houston Methodist over its policy requiring all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The workers alleged in their lawsuit that the hospital was “forcing its employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment.” They also accused the hospital of violating the Nuremberg Code of 1947, likening the vaccine mandate to Nazi medical experimentation on concentration camp prisoners.
US District Judge Lynn Hughes was not sympathetic to either argument, writing in his order of dismissal Saturday evening that none of the employees were forced or coerced to take the vaccine. He also noted that the hospital cannot violate the Nuremberg Code because it is a private employer, not a government.
“Equating the injection requirement to medical experimentation in concentration camps is reprehensible,” Hughes wrote. “Nazi doctors conducted medical experiments on victims that caused pain, mutilation, permanent disability, and in many cases, death.”
He added that the workers were free to accept or reject a vaccine and that they would “simply need to work elsewhere” if they chose the latter.
“If a worker refuses an assignment, changed office, earlier start time, or other directives, he may be properly fired. Every employment includes limits on the worker’s behavior in exchange for his remuneration,” Hughes wrote. “That is all part of the bargain.”
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