Indiana hospital fires employees for refusing flu vaccination

An Indiana hospital recently fired eight of its employees after they refused to be given a mandatory influenza shot.

The incident has sparked controversy over whether employee rights should be placed among general patient safety. Indiana University Health Goshen Hospital enacted its mandatory vaccination policy in order to stop the spread the highly contagious illness, according to ABC News.

Ethel Hoover, one of at least three veteran nurses fired for their refusal, wore black on her final day working in the hospital's critical care unit. Hoover said in February she would have been working at the hospital for 22 years.

"This is my body. I have a right to refuse the flu vaccine," Hoover said, ABC News reports. "For 21 years, I have religiously not taken the flu vaccine, and now you're telling me that I believe in it."

Hoover said that she did not think the hospital administration would take the influenza rule so seriously. She filed two medical exceptions, a religious exemption and two appeals. All were denied. Her last day on the job was six days after the deadline.

The hospital said that it enacted the policy to promote the safety of its patients based on recommendations from the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.