September 14, 2021
A professor of ethics at a University of Western Ontario College in Canada was forced out of her position after she refused to take a Covid-19 vaccine or wear a face mask.
In a video message last week, Dr. Julie Ponesse explained she was facing expulsion by the university if she didn’t comply with a vaccine mandate.
“I’m going to teach you a short lesson on a universally accepted ethics of coercing people into medical procedures,” Ponesse said. “I’ll be the example.”
“My school employs me to be an authority on the subject of ethics. I hold a Ph.D. in ethics and ancient philosophy and I’m here to tell you, it’s ethically wrong to coerce someone to take a vaccine. If it happens to you, you don’t have to do it. If you don’t want a Covid vaccine, don’t take one. End of discussion. It’s your own business,” she said.
“But that’s not the approach of the University of Western Ontario, which has suddenly required that I be vaccinated immediately, or not report for work.”
“So, with the school year beginning in a few days, I am facing imminent dismissal after 20 years on the job because I will not submit to having an experimental vaccine injected into my body,” Ponesse says.
According to Ponesse, she’s learned from colleagues the vaccines aren’t as safe as they’re made out to be.
“As a professor, I don’t have to watch the news to find out if the Covid vaccines are safe. I read medical journals and I consult my colleagues who are professors of science and medicine. I’ve learned from doctors that there are serious questions about how safe these vaccines really are. There are questions about how well they work.”
Ponesse argued that as an ethics professor it’s her duty to teach students to think critically and “ask questions that might expose a false argument; questions like: who is the authority giving this order? Should I trust them with control over my body?”
In order to further drive home the point, Ponesse presented her “conundrum” in the form of an ethics quiz.
This is my first and potentially my last lesson of the year. Ethics 101. In the spirit of Socrates, who was executed for asking questions, this lesson will consist of only one question. The answer is multiple choice. Please listen carefully.
When a person has done the same job to the satisfaction of her employer for 20 years, is it right, or is it wrong to suddenly demand that they submit to an unnecessary medical procedure in order to keep their job? In this case, the procedure is an injection of a substance that has not been fully tested for safety. It has not yet been shown to be effective. It is designed to prevent an illness that poses little threat to the employee. The employee is not allowed to ask questions. She may only submit to the procedure, or be fired.
To my first-year students, is this right, or is this wrong?
I already know the answer.
Last week was the university’s deadline requiring all students, staff and faculty to submit proof of vaccination.
“Those who have not provided proof that they are fully vaccinated have until October 12 to submit proof of full vaccination and are required to be tested for COVID-19 twice per seven-day period in the interim to attend campus, with results submitted to the University,” a campus policy update states.
Regarding staff who refuse to get vaccinated, the university policy states, “Employees of the university who don’t comply with the vaccination policy will be subject to discipline, which may include the removal of access to campus.”
An email from the university to Ponesse obtained by the National Post said she could seek an exemption – which she said she would not do – and even then, she’d need to continuously test and wear a face mask, “which she has refused to do.”
“I want to be very clear in rejecting it in principle, I don’t think we ever should have been in the place where we’re looking at the situation of mandates, so I’m not just seeking an exemption to one, I’m challenging the very foundation of the idea,” Ponesse told the Post.
Ponesse’s message concludes she was ultimately dismissed by the university.