God, Hope & Helping Others
April 11, 2015
by Brian Shilhavy
Health Impact News
In 2013, nursing student Nichole Bruff was dismissed from Baker College in Michigan for allegedly asking questions about the way her instructors were teaching nursing students how to coerce parents into receiving vaccines for their children, even if the children or parents did not want them. Nichole wondered why a patient’s right to choose or refuse a medical procedure was not being followed in administering vaccines. To her, this seemed to violate medical ethical issues she had been taught in nursing school, so she wanted clarification on why vaccines were different when it came to patient rights and ethics.
Is this not part of the American educational process, the right of students to question their instructors?
Shortly before she was due to graduate, she was dismissed from the school without warning, and with no recourse to appeal the dismissal. She soon found out that her dismissal prevented her from being accepted at other nursing schools. Nichole tells Health Impact News:
My dream of being a nurse practitioner of midwifery is gone.
Now, she is fighting back by filing a lawsuit against the school.
Nichole first reached out to the alternative media with her story in 2013, and told her story anonymously. It was originally published on the VacTruth Facebook Page. We republished it on Health Impact News, since things tend to “disappear” sometimes on Facebook. She told Health Impact News that she was “devastated” at the time, and still is today. Here is how she recounted the events back in 2013 that she believes led to her dismissal:
I am reaching out for assistance. This week I was dismissed from nursing school and I was almost finished. The reason for my dismissal according to the DON, and Dean was harassment of faculty. Apparently discussing vaccines and their unethical approach to teaching us was considered harassment. I only posed questions how the way they were teaching us and how it went against the ANA standards set forth for all nurses.
Two weeks ago, 2 different instructors were promoting manipulation and misleading information as a way to coerce parents that deny vaccines into compliance.
The first scenario was: Some hospitals require expecting moms and dads to be vaccinated with TDaP before walking into the labor and delivery floor. If significant other is not vaccinated, we the students would be administrating these vaccines. I asked for the rationale behind this. The instructor said this and I quote ” What if you were a new mother and an unvaccinated person came onto the floor carrying pertussis and your newborn contracted it and died.” My response was ” This is a worse case scenario, but vaccinating on the floor doesn’t provide antibodies to pertussis for 6 weeks to 6 months and sometimes not even at all.” I asked how they could promote this when they were giving these families a false sense of security. The instructor ended the conversation and said we would be discussing this more in the coming weeks.
The end of our first pediatric clinical, during post conference, the peds instructor brought up that there will be children that are not UTD on their vaccines, we are to get them UTD before discharge. I asked how they expected us to 1. administer vaccines to sick kids when that is contraindicated. Sick kids aren’t supposed to be vaccinated until they are no longer sick. 2. If the parent declines, which most that are not UTD have made that decision for their children, how would you like us to proceed?
Her response was that we are to try and educate them on the benefits and get them to comply. Well, this goes against everything that we are taught about ethics, their right to refuse, not to coerce, family-centered care and not pushing our own personal propaganda. This is against ANA standards. It is the job of the nurse to offer, educate and ultimately respect the decision of the patient/parent.
That brings me to the last scenario. Our OB instructor, who is a past public health nurse, doing a vaccine speech in peds class. She said and I quote “When a parent refuses, I go in there real sweet and tell them that we have new and important information regarding vaccines. It isn’t really new, it has been around for 20 years but they do not know this.” I raised my hand and asked if this was ethical to mislead parents into thinking there is new info when there really isn’t.
2 weeks later I am dismissed from the program based on harassment of staff during class discussions. I am sick over this. This is my future. With a dismissal I may never be able to apply to any school of nursing. I am being an advocate, like we are taught to be. The DON said at the end of this meeting “We don’t feel comfortable allowing you to complete your education here, take the NCLEX and be responsible for vulnerable patients.”
WOW! Each one of my clinical instructors have given me rave evaluations regarding my advocacy skills, going above and beyond etc. My grades are all A’s. I am not 100% against vaccines. I am a mother of 4, and I delay vax and deny some. That is my choice as their mother. If someone questioned my parenting regarding my decision to deny and delay, I would be furious. I just don’t know where to go at the moment. I feel as if my dreams have been crushed because of power hungry women. I challenged their ethics and that is not allowed.
Nichole Bruff is anonymous no more. She has retained the services of attorney Philip L. Ellison of Outside Legal Counsel PLC, and on April 6, 2015 she filed a complaint against the school in the Circuit Court for the County of Genesee in Michigan.
The nursing instructor she mentioned in the first scenario above, who allegedly instructed the students to require expecting moms and dads to be vaccinated with TDaP before walking into the labor and delivery floor, is named in the complaint as Connie Smith, Assistant Director of Nursing. According to the complaint, Nichole inquired what the rationale was (i.e. what the nursing students are taught to understand as ‘evidence based practice’) behind this expected activity given that it takes anywhere from four weeks to six weeks for an injected DTaP vaccination to begin to become effective against pertussis (i.e. whooping cough).
According to the complaint, Smith replied that this was just the way it went and further stated that the students were to affirmatively misrepresent to patients certain facts about the immunization injection, in case the patient (all new mothers and their partners) were concerned about autism or other medical and ethical concerns as potential side effects of receiving vaccinations.
Nichole then asked why she would be required to misrepresent facts to gain patient compliance when the ethical standards of the nursing profession makes it unethical to lie to gain compliance for suggested medical procedures as being contrary to the legal standard of a patient’s informed consent.
Next, the pediatrics instructor Nichole refers to who allegedly told all the nursing students that all children admitted to the hospital had to be brought up-to-date on their vaccines prior to being discharged, is named in the complaint as Alysia Osoff, also known then as Alysia Gilreath. The discussions of immunizations and vaccinations were initially raised by Osoff as part of the debriefing the students went through after a pediatric clinical experience.
As Nichole noted above, she questioned how sick children could be forced to receive vaccines when vaccine inserts themselves contraindicated the administration of vaccines to children while they are sick. According to the complaints, Osoff told the nursing students that they were to do whatever possible to convince visitors to the pediatrics department at Sparrow Hospital to consent to immunizations and vaccinations, even over the objections of the patient (which could also include the patient’s visitors).
The complaint also claims that Osoff stated and instructed that the students tell patients and their partners that failure to have immunization/vaccination for pertussis could result in the patient having to pay for their entire stay at the hospital, that the state would deny payment coverage, and that those on Medicare (traditionally underprivileged members of the community) would be personally liable to pay for all damages suffered by those in the hospital.
In other words, Osoff was instructing students to wrongfully threaten and panic patients into receiving an immunization to override a patient’s informed consent.
Shortly after questioning these instructors during the course of her instruction, she was dismissed by the school with no recourse to appeal the dismissal.
According to Nichole’s attorney, Philip L. Ellison:
Obtaining uninformed or false consent for a medical procedure under false pretenses is assault and battery under both criminal and civil law. Under Michigan law, patients have a right to refuse any and all medical treatment, including life saving procedures. The non-consensual touching of another is an unlawful battery. For one person (i.e. a nurse) to have the right to touch or invade the person of another (i.e. a patient), the doctrine of informed consent directs that consent obtained by untruths or misrepresentations is no consent at all. If a nursing student uses fraud, no consent was obtained and thus committed a battery. Such can also be criminal assault and battery.
Obtaining uninformed or false consent for a medical procedure under false pretenses is also a violation of the American Nursing Association Code of Ethics for nurses.
As we have previously reported here at Health Impact News, brave nurses all across the United States are taking a stand against medical tyranny regarding vaccines, and we encourage more nurses and nursing students to take a stand against unethical and potentially illegal activities regarding vaccines in their profession.
Thanks to the brave efforts of Nichole Bruff, who has sacrificed her a career to stand up for the truth, we have a window to peer through and see how patient rights are routinely abused when it comes to the issue of vaccines and informed consent in the medical profession. This right is under constant assault all across the United States today, as misinformation and coercion is used to promote pharmaceutical products like vaccines, which cannot survive in a true free market. The government has taken away all legal liabilities for pharmaceutical companies, and the only recourse left for patients is informed consent and the right to refuse medical procedures like vaccines. If more people do not take a stand like Nichole has, we may soon lose all of our rights to refuse medical procedures like vaccines.
To keep up-to-date on vaccine policies and proposed changes in vaccine laws in your state, sign up for alerts from the National Vaccine Information Center Advocacy Portal:
by Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland J.D.
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