Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sabrina’s Law 2005

Well, I am pretty impressed with the government for our recent instilment of the Sabrina Law, in memory of the student who died from her peanut allergy. The purpose of the bill is to protect anaphylactic students. I am very impressed at this attempt to protect the safety of the students who are at risk of dying just from coming into contact with an allergen.

For those not aware, I personally have an allergy to seafood and fish – I carry an epi-pen – I believe the majority of people who know me are aware of this – and I have always kept my managers informed of this situation. In the past, due to fellow co-workers insensitivity, I have had several life-threatening reactions at work involving immediate action being taken and numerous hospital visits. Because of these numerous reactions, my allergy has gone from fairly mild to quite severe, where it is not guaranteed I will survive my next reaction.

Recently the managers on the night shift had been requesting that no items containing fish be brought into the office. A contract staff member who just came back to work a couple weeks ago apparently takes offence to this, and has sent me several nasty emails and practically attacked me at the end of the work day stating this was a violation of her rights, and who do I think I am getting the managers to ban a food item from the office to protect just 1 person. She is starting a diet which requires her to eat chicken and fish only for meat, and happens to prefer fish. So…..I am expected to risk my life so she can eat her fish? (Ironically, I am on the exact same diet – as of today I have lost 16 lbs, and guess what, I didn’t eat the fish!)

I am hoping Sabrina’s Law will open people’s eyes to how serious a problem allergies really are. How many more have to die before people finally get it! Legally, this law is just in effect now so will probably take a while before everything is smoothed out with it, and yes, it only covers schools; however considering the number of offices now that have a no-scent policy (including my own), I am hoping it will not be long until the same laws cover the work place too.

With all of the food options available to us in North America, is it really that much to ask people to consider other food choices for the meals when they have been informed of specific allergies of those in their company?

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