At least two instructors at a medical college in Michigan taught lessons instructing students to intimidate patients into receiving vaccinations, a lawsuit claims.
Filed in the Genesee Circuit Court on April 6, the suit alleges a teacher at Baker College in Flint taught her students to exhaust various methods of coercion in order to pressure patients into getting innoculated.
“She stated that we would go in there if they declined and then we would use threats to coerce them,” claims plaintiff and former student Nichole Rolfe.
One threat students were directed to make targeted a patient’s enrollment in the federal health care and financial assistance program Medicaid.
“You’re going to lose your Medicaid and if you lose your Medicaid because you refuse the vaccine you will have to pay for your entire hospital stay,” the teacher told her students to say, according to Rolfe.
That same week, Rolfe, 35, says another instructor had also encouraged students to lie to new and expectant fathers, directing pupils to tell dads they wouldn’t be able to visit their newborns if they weren’t up-to-date on their vaccines.
“The vaccinations would do little to protect the newborns because they would not have taken effect by the time the fathers interacted with the babies, Rolfe claimed,” reports MLive.com.
After questioning the lessons, Rolfe was subsequently cut from the nursing program five months before she was due to graduate.
In their dismissal, the school accused Rolfe of aggressively arguing in defense of her vaccine exemption beliefs, and claimed she exhibited a “persistent, aggressive, oppositional behavior.”
Rolfe says the lessons went against what they learned about fully informing patients, and that her questions were harmless and apt for the classroom.
“I was asking questions that a nursing student should ask,” she said.
“This goes against the patient’s right to informed consent,” Rolfe claims. “Our job is to build trust with the family and patient. We are to educate this patient.”
A person claiming to be one of Rolfe’s peers said on Facebook that Rolfe didn’t espouse anti-vaccine beliefs, but that she merely “felt that lying and coercion went against ANA guidelines and violated the patients right to refuse any medical intervention,” according to Inquisitr.
Had Rolfe taken the instructors’ lessons to heart she could have landed in hot legal waters, her lawyer says.
“[U]sing fake or threatening information to force someone into receiving a medical treatment, such as an inoculation, would likely constitute an assault and battery,” Rolfe’s attorney told MLive.
The school had previously drafted a behavior contract with Rolfe after another student accused her of harassment over the student’s views on homosexuality, which Rolfe denies.
Rolfe’s claim seeks around $25,000 in damages and asks the school to rescind her dismissal, which is affecting her ability to enroll in other colleges.
The lawsuit comes amid a heated national debate regarding vaccinations, with the state of California leading the effort to severely restrict vaccine exemptions for parents and school-aged children.