As BC Health-Care Workers Take Fight Against Vaccine Mandates to Court, Will Sanity Prevail?

John Carpay – The Epoch Times

British Columbia’s health- care system remains in crisis due to severe understaffing, while the B.C. government prevents thousands of doctors and nurses from returning to work.

After an infant died at the Surrey Memorial Hospital, 36 medical staff signed a joint public letter denouncing the lack of nursing resources. This same understaffing caused the B.C. government to spend $34 million in tax dollars to send 4,800 B.C. cancer patients across the border to obtain chemotherapy and radiation in the state of Washington.

More than one in ten B.C. cancer patients cannot receive urgent cancer treatment within 30 days. Emergency rooms in rural communities are closing. Wait times are climbing. An estimated one in five British Columbians (nearly one million people) do not have a family doctor.

Despite serious understaffing, the B.C. government continues to prevent more than 2,000 doctors, nurses, and administrators from returning to work. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry continues to punish these people for having made a personal medical decision, more than two years ago, not to get injected with the COVID-19 vaccine.

The pandemic is essentially over today, or at least it is not the crisis that it was made out to be in 2020 and 2021. Forcing these willing workers to remain unemployed in 2023 is ideological fanaticism, devoid of science and common sense.

From Nov. 20 to Dec. 1, the B.C. Supreme Court is hearing the claims of health- care workers like Phyllis Janet Tatlock of Prince George, who was the director of operations at BC Cancer. Mrs. Tatlock was a senior health-care administrator who did not have contact with patients. And yet, by exercising her charter right to bodily autonomy, by which Canadians can freely choose what medical treatments to receive or not, Phyllis was summarily fired.

Another applicant in this court action is Laura Koop, a certified vocational rehabilitation professional from Creston. Until she was fired in 2021 for not getting injected, Laura worked remotely with at-risk youth, the homeless, and vulnerable people who depended on her services to cope with the pandemic fallout. The B.C. government still refuses to allow Laura to return to work.

When deciding the case of Tatlock et al. v. British Columbia and Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Supreme Court of British Columbia has an opportunity to allow thousands of workers to return to their duties in an understaffed health-care system. The court can also use this case to clarify that the charter right to bodily autonomy includes informed and voluntary consent on all medical treatments, including vaccines.

When these health-care workers exercised their charter right to bodily autonomy in 2021, it was already known at that time that the COVID-19 vaccine did not prevent transmission or severe outcomes. Therefore, if one had truly wanted to follow the science, getting injected ought to have been purely a matter of personal choice, without coercion or duress.

After firing thousands of health-care workers in 2021 for not getting injected with the vaccine, the B.C. government hired replacement contractors who were not required to take the COVID vaccine! This blatant unfairness violates the rule of law, not to mention the charter’s equality provisions, and places ideology ahead of science.

The fact that the B.C. government is still preventing Phyllis Tatlock, Laura Koop, and thousands of others from returning to work in November 2023 is not some accidental holdover from prior health orders. This is not a case of Dr. Henry absent-mindedly forgetting to repeal old orders.

On Oct. 5, 2023, Dr. Henry issued two new orders against health-care workers, requiring new hires to get injected with the new XBB.1.5 vaccine as a condition of working in the province’s health-care system. Even when COVID- 19 is over, even when the COVID vaccines do not prevent transmission, even when there is no long-term safety data for these vaccines, and even when the former COVID vaccines have been shown to cause adverse reactions, the government’s injection requirement remains in force today, deliberately.

These vaccine-related employment regulations go far beyond any notion of what is reasonable in the free and democratic society envisioned by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The B.C. health- care system is suffering because the government failed to respect the right of workers to make autonomous medical decisions for reasons of conscience or religion. In other words, people are suffering and dying in B.C. hospitals today because the government did not—and does not—respect the right of workers to freely choose to receive or reject a controversial new medical treatment.

As a result, thousands of cancer patients, pregnant mothers, and vulnerable citizens at risk of illness, violence, addiction, and suicide remain cut off from their cherished and trusted medical caregivers.

The Tatlock court action is holding to account the politicians and bureaucrats who are responsible for today’s understaffed health- care system, which is the direct result of their charter– violating policies.

This court action also raises the question of how far the government is willing to go in the future when it comes to disregarding charter rights and freedoms. While COVID may be behind us, the important process of holding politicians and governments accountable is not.

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