Four doctors from Alberta, Canada are suing Alberta Health Services (AHS) and its president over its vaccine mandate.
CBC News reported that the lawsuit was filed by Calgary pediatric neurologist Dr. Eric T. Payne, Calgary anesthesiologist Dr. Joanna J. Moser, Ponoka family physician Dr. Gregory Keen-Wai Chan, and Sexsmith family physician Dr. David Loewen.
In their lawsuit, which they filed last Friday in the Calgary Courts Centre, the doctors claimed that the AHS mandatory vaccination policy is “unethical and unlawful” and equates to a form of assault.
“Any medical procedure performed on a patient without their informed consent amounts to assault,” the doctors said in a statement regarding their claim.
The lawsuit claims that the mandatory vaccination policy amounts to constructive dismissal because it alters the plaintiffs’ contracts on the threat of termination or unpaid suspension. It goes on to say that the mandatory vaccine policy breaches confidentiality because “the minute a physician is placed on unpaid leave, their status is immediately apparent.”
Jeffrey Rath, a lawyer representing the doctors, spoke out to say that he would file an application for an injunction to force AHS to halt its policy until the lawsuit is heard in court. A spokesperson for AHS responded by claiming that 94% of employees have complied with the proof of vaccination mandate.
“AHS is confident in the validity of the mandatory immunization policy, which is an important tool to ensure the safety of our staff, physicians, and patients,” the spokesperson said.
The doctors alleged in their lawsuit that AHS president Dr. Verna Yiu, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, and other government officials have made “false statements” that the “unvaccinated are to blame for the pandemic and hospital overcrowding.”
Lorian Hardcastle, an associate professor in the faculty of law and Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, slammed the claims made in the lawsuit about assault and informed consent as being “frivolous.”
“This isn’t a case where someone is being forcibly vaccinated. They’re being told that they either vaccinate or don’t work there,” Hardcastle told The Calgary Herald. “Certainly, mandatory vaccination policy is something that has been discussed pretty extensively by employment and labour law lawyers. Most seem to be landing on the side of, given the public health crisis, these will probably stand up to the legal challenge.”
Hardcastle claimed that the language used in the lawsuit was “extreme.”
“I think it’s unnecessarily sensationalist,” she said. “It may add fuel to the anti-vax fire. We may see some people who are opposed to vaccines, latch on to the language here.”
It remains to be seen how this lawsuit will play out.