A nurse's job for over 10 years was in jeopardy after her religious exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine mandate was purportedly canceled.
The Christian Post (CP) reported that Julia Brenton, a registered nurse and a postpartum unit supervisor, received an email from Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg on Monday, informing her that she needed to get vaccinated by June 20 or risk losing her job.
Brenton argued that she doesn't want to take the COVID-19 jab for it was acquired through cell testing obtained from aborted fetuses which were against her religious beliefs. She sought an exemption in July 2021, delivering a letter with a quote from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, a verse pertaining for Christians to honor God with their bodies for it was considered a temple of God.
The Christian nurse pleaded in her letter that anything infused in her body was against her religious convictions and religious freedom. She also provided a letter coming from Called By Grace Ministries Pastor Perry Darley which indicated that they talked about her beliefs about the vaccine mandates as a breach of her Christian beliefs, particularly the right to life.
According to Inova's official COVID-19 vaccination standards, they permitted religious exemptions only when "only when sincerely held religious beliefs conflict with Inova's immunization policy." It was also stated that a letter from a religious leader may specify the truly held religious belief, practice, or observance that underlies the anti-immunization objection. Innova's standards for religious exemption exclude medical, scientific, political, philosophical, ethical, or otherwise secular reasons for resistance rather than religious in nature.
Religious Exemption Denied
Brenton provided CP an email from Inova's official exemption requests email address dated Aug. 10, 2021, informing her that she had been issued a perpetual exemption from the vaccine and would not be required to reapply. However, this March she was told to reapply for the vaccine exemption despite the prior communication guaranteeing a permanent exemption.
She reapplied and waited for 10 weeks to know that her request was denied. Inova's Vaccine Exemption Request Committee claimed that Brenton failed to meet their exemption criteria and that her not being vaccinated would put an unwarranted strain on the hospital's operations. Brenton reported that many of them applied for an exemption that was accepted but denied later on.
Inova Loudoun Hospital's Response
According to Inova's spokeswoman Tracy Connell, the hospital accepts medical or religious exemptions from employees. She stated that members of Inova's chaplaincy team were working alongside a clinical and multi-disciplinary review committee to examine religious exemption requests.
She added that Innova will seek to study and update its approach to keeping its team members and patients safe during a public crisis, as well as its policies when relevant facts and circumstances permit. The spokeswoman indicated that the hospital was committed to "embracing zero harm and welcoming best practice."
Connell reiterated that the hospital believed in the need for everyone to be properly immunized to make the workplace safest as they learn more about COVID 19 and its arising variants.