Friday, August 20, 2021

Religious Objections To Medical College's COVID Vaccination Requirement Upheld

In Magliulo v. Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, ((WD LA, Aug. 17, 2021), a Louisiana federal district court issued a temporary restraining order barring a medical college from conditioning plaintiff students' enrollment on their receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. The students had requested an exemption from the college's requirements for religious reasons-- they believed the vaccine was derived from aborted fetal tissue. The college would grant the exemption only if the objecting students complied with extensive restrictions. The court held that Louisiana statutes allow students to assert religious or philosophical objections to the vaccine requirement. It also concluded that the refusal to exempt religious objectors violates the free exercise clause of the Louisiana constitution and the Louisiana Preservation of Religious Freedom Act.  The Louisiana Attorney General had backed the students' position in the case, and the AG's Office issued a press release discussing the decision.