With swine flu in the news, some are wondering what the responsibilities of health care providers are in case of a full-blown pandemic.
Shadowfax has unearthed an article citing little-known laws in some states, “that authorize government officials to order health care professionals to work during declared public health emergencies, even when doing so would pose life-threatening risks.”
And it’s no joke, as those “who violate these orders could face substantial penalties, ranging from license revocations to fines and imprisonment. The penalties would apply even to individuals whose jobs do not normally involve clinical responsibilities, as well as to health care professionals who are retired or taking time off from work to care for their families.”
When that article was written back in November 2008, little did we imagine a scenario where that would be relevant.
Shadowfax, however, wonders if such coercive tactics will actually help, wondering if it will reduce any motivation for doctors and nurses to volunteer in the first place.