​The many health care workers who are taking a stand against the COVID vaccine mandate are doing so to protect their right (and the right of every Mainer) to freedom of medical choice. These are exactly the type of people we need working within the health care system. People who value personal autonomy, bodily integrity, and the right to uncoerced voluntary informed consent — both for themselves and for their patients.

​Any good nurse understands that one size does not fit all. What may be the best choice for one person (taking into consideration his/her unique prognosis, age, gender, genetic predisposition, lifestyle habits, religious beliefs, etc.) may not be the best choice for another. Freedom of medical choice allows a person to decide what medical treatments he/she receives, a decision that is based on his/her values, preferences, and goals. This mandate takes the decision away from the individual and puts it in the hands of politicians.

The thought of this mandate not being overturned is worrisome to both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated for good reason. If it stays in effect, the mandate will likely extend beyond healthcare workers to all professions across the board. It will allow politicians to bypass the physician community (just as this mandate does) to decide what medical procedures a person “needs.”

We must not allow it. We must abolish the mandate completely. If not for ourselves, then for our patients.

 

Ashley Dudley, R.N.

South Thomaston

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