KELOWNA, British Columbia (LifeSiteNews) — A British Columbia doctor has lost an appeal to keep working after being suspended for not receiving the experimental COVID-19 vaccine.
On November 20, the British Columbia Hospital Appeal Board ruled that Dr. Theresa Szezepaniak’s hospital privileges must remain suspended as she refuses the COVID vaccine mandated by the province to work in health care settings.
“This Panel acknowledges that the Appellant has the right to make decisions impacting her bodily integrity and accepts that she strongly and sincerely believes in her views,” the decision said. “That does not mean, however, that she is immune from the consequences of her decision.”
“Hospital privileges” is a health care term referring to authority which a hospital gives to a doctor or nurse to treat patients at that hospital.
According to the ruling, Szezepaniak will remain suspended “until such time as the Appellant is eligible to fulfill her service obligations,” meaning until she receives the COVID vaccine, or the province lifts the mandate.
The ruling further states that Szezepaniak’s privileges should be canceled if she is not eligible to work by the time of her annual review.
In March 2020, Szezepaniak, a doctor in the province for over 20 years, took a position at the Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) in Kelowna.
On October 25, 2021, the health orders mandated that staff members receive the COVID vaccine to work in healthcare settings “unless they had received a COVID-19 vaccine or had been granted an exemption from the PHO.”
As a result, Szezepaniak was unable to work at RIH as of October 26 and filed for an exemption from the shot based on the argument that it violated her rights and freedoms. She supported her appeal with “numerous requests for information related to disclosure of scientific evidence regarding the vaccines and how Charter requirements were being met.”
Despite her evidence, Szezepaniak’s exemption was denied, and she was terminated from her position by the Interior Health Authority on November 19, 2021.
On Aug. 23, 2022, the decision was made official by the health authority board of directors who canceled her “medical staff appointment and hospital privileges, effective Aug. 19.”
Szezepaniak also warned the hospital that mandatory vaccination policies “were illegal” and that anyone who participated in enforcing the mandates “would be personally liable for all of the harms caused by the policies.”
On October 18, 2022, Szezepaniak filed an appeal of the Board of Directors’ decision; however, her appeal has now been denied
Despite the ruling, Szezepaniak has not given up on her fight and is reviewing the decision with her lawyer, Lee Turner.
“I expect our client will be making a decision shortly on whether she will pursue a judicial review of the decision,” Turner told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Szezepaniak is hardly alone in her fight against the vaccine mandates. In November, hundreds of British Columbia health care workers joined together to sue Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry for ongoing COVID shot mandates preventing them from working.
British Columbia is one of few provinces to maintain COVID jab mandates, despite a shortage of health care workers.