Jane Doe, M.D. and John Doe v. University of Colorado, Donald Elliman, Shanta Zimmer, M.D.

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The University of Colorado’s new Policy divides its staff and students into two categories based on their religious beliefs: the “sheep”  and the “goats.” Under this policy, only those who belong to religions “whose teachings are opposed to all immunizations” will get religious exemptions. All others, including our Plaintiffs here—a Catholic and a Buddhist—must be refused a religious exemption.

As a result, on September 29, we have filed a lawsuit on behalf of our clients against the University of Colorado and defendant Donald Elliman as the Chancellor of the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine and defendant Shanta Zimmer as the Senior Associate Dean of Medical Education, University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine. The University’s administrators have probed and debated the religious beliefs of its staff and students and imposed value judgments on believers in an Inquisition process that further violates the First Amendment. According to the lawsuit, “The University is unapologetically, aggressively enforcing this Policy to the detriment of the Plaintiffs, a physician on staff, and a medical student who had recently begun his first year of studies, at the University’s Anschutz School of Medicine.”

Our plaintiffs have sincere religious objections to the Covid-19 vaccines currently available to them. Their objections are based on the fact the vaccines were developed, produced, or tested on aborted-fetal cell lines. Our client, Dr. Jane Doe will be imminently fired from the Anschutz’s teaching faculty and lose her staff privileges at the Anschutz’s teaching hospital in Colorado Springs as early as October 1, 2021, because of her religiously grounded inability to accept the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines.

She will be unable to practice her profession as a pediatric care specialist within 100 miles of the medical school campus in Aurora, or of its associated Children’s Hospital in Colorado Springs—and effectively in the entire state of Colorado—for a period of two years as a result if she is fired. Our client, John Doe has been forced to take a leave of absence from his studies at Anschutz also because of his religiously grounded inability to accept the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines, and is currently barred from all Anschutz property.

He will be unable to begin his medical studies anew anywhere in the United States, without finding a new medical school that would accept him under these circumstances and then applying for and securing admission to that new school. On September 30, the University of Colorado officially backed off from firing our pro-life client, Dr. Jane Doe. They agreed to give her indefinite administrative leave with full pay and benefits. The Thomas More Society agreed to withdraw our TRO motion.  There will be preliminary injunction proceedings with a hearing to take place near the end of October. On November 4, an amended complaint was filed.


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