A federal judge validated Monday the decision of a university to impose the anti-Covid-19 vaccine on its students and staff, while the subject divides as the return to school approaches in the United States.
Magistrate Damon Leichty of the South Bend Court, east of Chicago, rendered the first ruling on the matter, but it is subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Seized urgently by eight students, he refused to suspend new health rules imposed by Indiana University with a view to resuming classes on its campuses between August 1 and August 15.
These rules make vaccination compulsory for its 90,000 students and 40,000 employees, but provide for exemptions for religious or medical reasons.
The Constitution allows students “to refuse medical treatment on the principle of the right to dispose of one’s body“writes Judge Damon.
But it also allows “to impose a reasonable vaccination process in the legitimate interest of public health“, he adds.”This is what the university did“, he slices in a decision of a hundred pages.
Of the eight complainants, six already benefit from an exemption on religious grounds, but did not want to have to wear the mask or respect social distancing, he recalls.
Some put forward religious goals or the fear of discrimination, others called this measure “cultural attack“, writes the magistrate. However, they have all, in recent months, agreed to comply with these health measures in other contexts, he underlines.