Flu Vaccinations :: NY Personal Injury vs. Public Protection

Two months ago, Top NY Personal injury Lawyers wrote about the efforts of New York hospitals to brace for Swine Flu injuries. Fears of claims regarding medical malpractice, negligence and failure to diagnose prompted some medical centers to order wall-to-wall supplies of the H1N1 vaccine. Suppose a patient walks into a NY hospital and presents signs of the disease, and a doctor feels that the Flu vaccine is the best course of treatment. By New York law, an attending doctor or nurse must establish that the patient provides informed consent to receive the vaccine, or undergo a given medical procedure. And so, doctors owe it to patients to disclose the advantages, disadvantages, and risks associated with a given vaccine. At that point, a patient may or may not pursue the vaccine. It’s the patient’s choice. Not so for New York hospital employees, says a recent op-ed piece in a NY paper. According to the writer, New York hospitals, with an eye out to prevent medical malpractice suits, are requiring all hospital employees to undergo the Flu vaccine, or face termination. Is it fair? The op-ed author contends not. Without taking sides, New York personal injury lawyers believe the issue may also be constructed as: a) Concern for personal injury caused onto NY hospital employees, due to complications resulting from the H1N1 vaccine; weighed against, b) an interest in protecting the public from spread of the disease through hospital employees, and medical malpractice cases against the hospitals. We hope the rights of all parties will be best protected, while preventing personal injury for all New Yorkers.

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