COVID-19 vaccination policy interferes with fundamental right to refuse medical treatment.

A California lawsuit targeting Los Angeles schools imposed a vaccine mandate on its workers.  The Ninth Circuit disagreed with the lower courts ruling not to proceed, ruling 2-1 that the workers could move forward with the case.

The court recognized the plaintiffs "plausibly alleged" that the vaccine for COVID-19 "does not effectively ‘prevent the spread'" of the disease, rather it merely mitigates symptoms for those who contract it. Therefore, the court said, there is an argument to be made that there is no legal basis for forcing workers to take the vaccine against their will. Additionally the argument is that legislation restricting religious exemptions violates the constitutional rights of parents to make medical decisions for their children.

In a concurring opinion, Judge Daniel Collins invoked Supreme Court precedent that “compulsory treatment for the health benefit of the person treated — as opposed to compulsory treatment for the health benefit of others — implicates the fundamental right to refuse medical treatment.”

The plaintiffs alleged that the vaccines do not prevent someone from becoming infected with COVID-19 and characterized it as a treatment rather than a “traditional vaccine.” They argued that by requiring employees to get the COVID vaccine, the school district was interfering with workers’ right to refuse medical treatment.




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