Court rejects argument that discharge for conforming to malpractice standards is unlawful public policy
A nurse, Janine Irwin, was fired by the Golden Oaks Medical Care Facility after she refused to administer diabetic medication to a resident. She refused to administer the medication because there was no current order for the medication in the patient's file. According to policy, each patient was to receive a medical review once per month, with accompanying medication orders, and according to Irwin, there was no current review order on file for this patient for 60 days.
After she was fired for insubordination, Irwin sued the employer and asked the Court to hold that it is against public policy for an employer to fire an employee who refuses to breach medical standards of care. The Court declined. It held that Michigan has no public policy in this regard and that only the Legislature should adopt one. The Michigan judiciary, since it has been dominated by arch-conservative Republican activists, has not been shy about "announcing" Michigan public policy when it conforms with the Republican agenda or the interests of insurers and other special interests.