Supreme Courtroom will not listen to problem to New York vaccine mandate for health care personnel

The Supreme Court docket declined Thursday to consider up a legal obstacle brought by health care employees in New York who oppose the state’s vaccination mandate on religious grounds.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said the court docket should have taken the circumstance. 

When the need was initially imposed in August to assistance prevent the spread of the most up-to-date coronavirus variant, it authorized exceptions based mostly on health-related reasons or religious objections. But the spiritual exemption was later on taken out.  

Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is Roman Catholic, mentioned that she was not mindful of any “sanctioned spiritual objection from any structured religion” and that spiritual leaders, like the pope, have been encouraging men and women to get vaccinated.

Sixteen overall health treatment staff sued, declaring they experienced religious objections mainly because fetal mobile traces have been associated in the testing, development or output of Covid vaccines. They claimed the mandate violated their religious freedom for the reason that it authorized other individuals who had been unvaccinated to proceed performing. 

Attorneys for the state explained the Covid mandate was similar to lengthy-standing regulations demanding overall health care staff to be vaccinated from measles and rubella. Those demands, too, enable exemptions only for medical good reasons. Laboratory-developed stem cells, which derive from cells gathered from a fetus practically 50 several years in the past, have been also utilized to check the rubella vaccine, the point out stated. 

“The existence of a single, constrained healthcare exemption to a vaccine need does not have to have the Condition to present a blanket religious exemption from vaccination,” they stated in their composed submissions. 

Producing for the a few dissenters, Thomas mentioned confusion continues to be about a mandate that offers no religious exemption, like New York’s. He said the courtroom should really have taken the case now to head off identical confusion in the long term. 

In December, the Supreme Courtroom declined to briefly block the vaccination need in the scenario. Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch explained then that the court docket should have granted the request to put the mandate on keep.   

Considering the fact that past tumble, the court has declined to block other vaccination mandates that do not present for religious exemptions, implementing to New York lecturers, Navy sailors, wellness care staff in Maine and Massachusetts, and faculty college students in Indiana.

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Supreme Court’s abortion decision puts doctors in legal limbo : Shots

Dr. Kara Beasley protests the overturning of Roe vs. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, in Denver, Colorado on June 24, 2022.

JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images


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Dr. Kara Beasley protests the overturning of Roe vs. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, in Denver, Colorado on June 24, 2022.

JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images

Historically, doctors have played a big role in abortion’s legality. Back in the 1860s, physicians with the newly-formed American Medical Association worked to outlaw abortion in the U.S.

A century later, they were doing the opposite.

In the 1950s and 1960s, when states were liberalizing abortion laws, “the charge for that actually came from doctors who said, ‘This is insane, we can’t practice medicine, we can’t exercise our medical judgment if you’re telling us that this is off the table,’ ” explains Melissa Murray, law professor at New York University.

The Supreme Court ruled in doctors’ favor in Roe v. Wade in 1973. The majority opinion spoke of “the right of a woman in consultation with her physician to choose an abortion,” Murray says.

Yet doctors and patients are all but absent from the latest Supreme Court majority opinion on abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In fact, in the opinion, Justice Samuel Alito uses the derogatory term “abortionist” instead of physician or doctor or obstetrician-gynecologist.

Legal experts say that signals a major shift in how the court views abortion, and creates a perilous new legal reality for physicians. In states where abortion is restricted, health care providers may be in the position of counseling patients who want an abortion, including those facing pregnancy complications, in a legal context that treats them as potential criminals.

“Alito’s framing is that abortion is and was a crime – that’s the language he uses,” says Mary Ziegler, a law professor at the University of California, Davis. There’s no dispute, she says, that “the result of a decision overruling Roe in the short term is going to be the criminalization of doctors.”

Roe v. Wade was doctor-centered

Doctors were at the heart of the court’s first landmark ruling on abortion, Roe v. Wade.

“The original Roe decision – it was very, very doctor-centered – extremely so,” says Ziegler, who has written extensively on the legal history of abortion. “At its inception, this was a right that was very much about health care and about the doctor-patient relationship.”

Roe and the abortion decisions that came after it like Planned Parenthood v. Casey, “had the framework that abortion is some sort of individual right, but it’s also health care,” explains Carmel Shachar, executive director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.

The court essentially told states: “You can put restrictions on abortion services and on provider qualifications as you do for other types of health care, and as long as they are not so onerous that we

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