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A right to vaccination dissent

Judge blocks Louisiana medical school’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Monroe, La. Facebook/VCOM-Louisiana - Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

A right to vaccination dissent

A judge last week temporarily blocked the University of Louisiana’s medical school from enforcing its vaccine mandate on three medical students. The judge concluded the school placed excessive and illegal restrictions on its religious exemption.

In a 19-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty, a Trump appointee, chided officials at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Monroe, La., for excluding the students from educational settings that involve hands-on patient care if they received the religious exemption.

Unlike vaccinated students, the three also faced what Doughty labeled a “Scarlett Letter”–type list of requirements. In addition to wearing masks, they had to frequently undergo COVID-19 tests, use a software app that allowed the school and other students to track their movements, and disclose their vaccination status to other students and obtain their consent to work together.

Rachel Lynn Magliulo, Matthew Shea Willis, and Kirsten Willis Hall said the vaccine development’s connection with aborted fetal tissues violated their religious beliefs. They also dissented because the vaccine was approved for emergency use only and was therefore experimental.

At first, the school denied the three students’ requests. After a July 20 letter from Liberty Counsel, the school clarified its policy on exemptions and granted the exemptions. The Florida-based firm filed the lawsuit after the school attached conditions.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry weighed in on the side of the students in a friend-of-the-court brief, calling the school’s policies “discriminatory, punitive, and ill-advised.”

“Even in times of crisis, indeed especially in a time of crisis, the rule of law must be upheld,” Landry wrote. “Surely the school can provide solutions to the challenges presented by the pandemic without violating students’ fundamental rights of personal autonomy, bodily integrity, and sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Doughty found the policy violated the free exercise clause of the Louisiana Constitution. But it’s nearly identical to that of the U.S. Constitution, so his ruling may prove persuasive to other courts facing similar challenges to vaccine mandates.

Liberty Counsel has also challenged the denial of a religious exemption to a nursing student at Graceland University School of Nursing in Independence, Mo., and questioned Illinois-based Advocate Health Care’s denial of a religious exemption to employees who base their request on what the provider calls a “false” claim about aborted fetal cell lines being used in vaccines.

Steve West

Steve is a legal correspondent for WORLD. He is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, Wake Forest University School of Law, and N.C. State University. He worked for 34 years as a federal prosecutor and is now an attorney in private practice. Steve resides with his wife in Raleigh, N.C.



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Liberty Council is doing an excellent job vs. the coercion during this clinical trial. Please read the book "Dissolving Illusions"


I agree with you Nanamiro. High risk people should give it serious consideration after consulting with their doctor who, I hope, has their best interest in mind. Sadly we are allowing big government and big pharma to force it on those who are the least vulnerable. Our children are the ones who are going to suffer the long term effects of this. There has been far too much cover-up and blocking of treatment protocols that are proven to work (but they don't feed big pharma). There has also been too much ignoring the bad results and side affects of the "vaccine".
And, "YES", limiting someone's freedom to travel or have access to anything else that others have access to is a punishment.

Tim MillerKDON9307

My friends who are skeptical of big pharma refused to get a $20 vaccine that stimulates natural antibodies and opted instead for a $2100 infusion of artificial antibodies. I don't get how people who distrust vaccines tout other therapies that are just as experimental and more expensive.

NanamiroTim Miller

Well, monoclonal therapy is just one option. There are many protocols that have been developed over the last year and a half, all over the world, that practicing doctors are finding effective in treating Covid patients, with drugs that are cheap and proven safe already. These protocols are ignored or discouraged by our medical bureaucracies so far. Why? I can't figure that out. Maybe monoclonal treatments are accepted because they ARE super expensive. But even they are not being promoted much. Why? Again, not sure.
And mRNA vaccines are not traditional vaccines, we have no long term data concerning their efficacy or safety, and honestly, I think the fact that they are being pushed so hard on everyone, whether they will benefit from them or not, and other options are being so discouraged, people question the motivations behind it all.

Tim MillerNanamiro

MRNA vaccines are being pushed because people are dying. They are saving lives. It is not new technology; it has been on development for decades. But if you don't like MRNA technology, try a different vaccine.

As far as the medical system ignoring cheap remedies, that is without basis. Ine of the early innovations was turning people over to breathe. That didn't cost a dime. We have reduced the use of ventilators which was often counterproductive (and expensive). We developed cheap vaccines that prevent serious illness in most cases. U of M recently found a breast milk ingredient that inhibits COVID cells. Local hospitals did hydroxichloroquine trials.

I don't know who you are listening to, but they are not being honest.

NanamiroTim Miller

The CDC still does not recommend early treatment for Covid. The Oregon Health Authority has no recommendations for seeking treatment if you get Covid. My brother in California was refused to be seen by his doctor or at an urgent care because he had Covid symptoms. They told him to go to the ER. Why? If doctors are treating people out of hospital for Covid, why were they refusing to see him?
Do you know anyone, after a year and a half, who was treated for Covid outside of a hospital? I don't.


There are a number of well proven treatment protocols that have worked very well but they have been downplayed by big pharma. Hydroxychloroquine when used in a proper protocol is very effective. Many front line doctors including my brother have used it with great results. (Hundreds of patients treated with a 100% non-hospitalization result). No well documented study has been done to discredit Hydroxychloroquine.

KDON9307Tim Miller

Local hospitals in the US didn't give hydroxychloroquine even a reasonable use. Much of Africa has been spared because they already use hydroxychloroquine against malaria.

Tim MillerKDON9307

If only doctors listened to Charlie Kirk...
Your second sentence is a hypothesis, not a proven fact. There are several reasons Africa may have been "spared," although some African nations are having serious outbreaks now.
The first sentence is not true. Our local hospitals (Detroit area) used hydroxichloroquine. It wasn't clearly effective. One of the studies finally shut down in December 2020.

KDON9307Tim Miller

First of all I don't even know who Charlie Kirk is.
If you wait till the patient is hospitalized you've greatly reduced your window of treatment with any medication. The first response by your family practitioner is far more critical. Preferably you've had preventative measures in place.


How ironic that this medical school requires students to receive this injection while at least 30% of practicing medical professionals don't want to get it! The kids and young people have been so mistreated during this whole catastrophe.


To Janet- I totally agree with you. If you are low risk, getting a vaccine that has been around for less than a year is disturbing. If you're higher risk, thoughtfully consider it.

To RCRE8109-
1)There has never been an mRNA vaccine approved by the FDA in over 10 years of attempts (well, until yesterday).
2)Vaccines take YEARS to develop! And finding "brave" volunteers can't be that hard. I was part of a vaccine study several years ago. No big deal.
3)The definition of a vaccine has evolved over the last year or two. mRNA "vaccines" are not traditional vaccines.
4)How was there a "testing stage" for a vaccine for SARS-Cov 2 that started in 2019? How could that possibly have happened so quickly? Where are you getting this info? And VAERS shows an astronomical number of adverse events related to Covid vaccines in the US. The numbers are worse or comparable to over 30 years of VAERS reporting, only in a matter of months. Guinea pig is pretty accurate. And efficacy? Israel now has over 95% of hospitalized Covid patients being fully vaccinated.
5)We've spent a year and a half waiting for an effective vaccine while over 620,000 Americans died. Instead of treating people with early stages of Covid in order to keep them out of hospitals and alive, we put all our eggs in the vaccine basket and let people die. That is the legacy future generations will see and wonder why our leaders didn't encourage doctors to practice medicine.

Tim MillerNanamiro

These attacks on the medical professionals who have worked like crazy to save lives - the attacks are obscene. From the beginning in China to right now, doctors and nurses have risked their lives, tried all sorts of possibilities, worked overtime, and endured abuse and hate for it. It is despicable that those who have called COVID a hoax, have poo-pooed basic mitigation strategies, and have obstructed a simple preventative measure have the gall to criticize hardworking medical professionals who have tried to save lives.

I am embarrassed by my evangelical friends right now. Our behavior is beneath us.

NanamiroTim Miller

I agree. When that Methodist hospital system in Texas said that the nurses and doctors who wouldn't take the vaccine "didn't care" about their patients, after a year of being on the frontlines of the pandemic, and were then fired, I was shocked by the disrespect and hypocrisy.
And all the doctors who have been trying to treat Covid patients early during the pandemic being threatened and pressured not to treat Covid patients by their medical boards, has been disgraceful. Doctors have been fired for saving Covid patients lives. Utterly unacceptable.
If any evangelicals have supported this horrible treatment and pressure put on our medical professionals, I too am embarrassed.

Tim MillerNanamiro

I'm pretty sure you don't agree with me on this.

NanamiroTim Miller

I admit, I wasn't sure what you were referring to, but I am disgusted with how medical personnel are being treated, after all these months of frontline work, simply because they don't want to get this injection. Maybe you think those people should be forced to take the injection. If so then, no, I don't agree with you.


Responding to Janet B 's reasons:
1. “too new”. The process for this mRNA type of vaccine has been under development for more than 10 YEARS by the Moderna people. So new is not the issue. Note that Pfizer has received FDA approval!
2. “too quickly produced”. What does that mean? What pharmaceutical production process would you recommend that would be less quick? The reason development time is usually long is because it is really hard to find enough brave volunteers for sufficient testing to be done, but that was not the case with the Covid-19 vaccines.
3. “from what I understand, not a vaccine by definition, but a gene modifier”. Laura W’s explanation in this post shows the correct answer for you there.
4. “I am not really wanting to be a guinea pig, though I certainly am not putting anyone down for getting the shots.” The testing stage was done back in 2019-2020 by some 30 to 40 thousand brave volunteers, so you were never going to be a Guinea Pig. The fact that over 163,000,000 Americans have been vaccinated blows the doors off the experimental complaint. Only a tiny fraction of a percent of the 163 million might be classified as having difficult side effects or lack of protection with breakthrough covid-19 symptoms. This speaks to the safety and effectives of the vaccines.
5. “…I prefer to be free to say no, and not be punished for my caution”. In this country you are free to say no to the vaccine, but I would like to know what you mean by being punished? If you were not allowed to fly, because you are not vaccinated, would you view that as punishment?
6. Your request of, “…until I can be sure…”. That is an extremely convenient excuse. You may hope enough of the rest of America does get vaccinated and the virus dies out before you get infected by it. Which will probably be the case, but you can never be sure about that, can you. There is another long-term effect you are missing. When the Spanish Flu killed off about 550,000 of the 103 million Americans, over 26-month period a hundred years ago, it left a legacy of the variety of common flu viruses that hit us now, every year. I wonder what long term effect the Covid-19 virus will leave with us and how deadly it will be.
I know of a few people who have real medical reasons to avoid getting vaccinated. I see that as justified but they are still at risk of getting the Covid-19 virus. It is still your decision, but there is “risk” no matter what you do.


RE: #5 So you think that not being allowed to do something you would otherwise be able to do is not a punishment?
Do you think being required to jump through extra hoops is not a punishment?

Janet B

I am a Christian who has not taken the shots. I learned early on that the other "unapproved" companies had used very old lines of fetal tissue, but that is not why I have not taken them.
My reason is that it is too new, too quickly produced, and, from what I understand, not a vaccine by definition, but a gene modifier. I am not really wanting to be a guinea pig, though I certainly am not putting anyone down for getting the shots.
I know some people, one is a family member, who got the shots but still came down with COVID recently. Not only that, but this family member said that there were side effects of the shots that have taken over 4 months to go away.
I realize that many have taken the shots and been fine, but until I can be sure there are no long terms affects, I prefer to be free to say no, and not be punished for my caution.

Laura WJanet B

It doesn't modify your genes. I know people are saying that, but it's just not true. Your genes are made up of DNA, which is stored in your cell nucleus for safekeeping. The mRNA vaccines mimic what your cells do when they need to make a new protein and send a short-lived copy of a gene out into the rest of the cell. This copy is called messenger RNA, or mRNA for short. This is also the system many viruses use to trick your cells into making more virus particles. But in the case of the mRNA vaccines, they don't include instructions for the entire virus, just a small piece of it so your immune system can learn to identify it as a threat.

But if you still have concerns about the mRNA technology, you might want to consider the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. It uses a more conventional method of vaccine production.

Tim Miller

Liberty Counsel would be worthy of a full report. Their website is full of links to erroneous and misleading information about the vaccines. Early in the pandemic, I called them for guidance on safely and legally holding services, and they made it clear they weren't concerned about the safety of reopening, but the legality of it. Christians have every right to be wary of vaccines produced with fetal products, but the Christians I know who are not taking a COVID vaccine have not even brought that up! I'm sure it concerns some of them (the J&J is the only one approved in the US that uses fetal byproducts), but it's definitely not the main objection.