The idea that a person in need of a life-saving surgery would be denied that procedure by a doctor or a hospital administrator simply because the individual opted out of getting a COVID-19 shot seems surreal. It sounds unethical at the very least, criminal at worst, and certainly not something that one would imagine could happen in America. Yet, hard as it is to believe, this medieval-sounding scenario distinguished by callous disregard for human life has been played out on numerous occasions in the United States during the past two years.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
In one highly publicized case, Leilani Lutali of Colorado Springs was denied a kidney transplant by University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora until she and her donor agreed to be injected with COVID shots. In North Carolina, Chad Carswell of Burke County was also denied a kidney transplant by Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem until both he and his donor agreed to get COVID shots.1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10
In Ohio, unvaccinated Michelle Vitullo was denied a liver transplant by the Cleveland Clinic. In Washington, unvaccinated Derek Kovick was also denied a liver transplant by the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. In Massachusetts, unvaccinated DJ Ferguson was denied a heart transplant by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.4 7 9 11
In a more recent case, 14-year-old unvaccinated Yulia Hicks was denied a kidney transplant by Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. The young girl, who is originally from Ukraine, suffers from a rare degenerative kidney condition known as Senior Loken Syndrome.12 13
Yulia’s mother reportedly asked a hospital employee, “So basically you’re telling us if she does not get the vaccine, then she’s not getting a transplant?” and the employee responded, “Yes, that is the one thing that is holding us up.”12 13 Mrs. Hicks said:
They said the CDC recommendation had been updated at the end of October, and they had to go by the recommendation, and if she didn’t get the vaccine she wouldn’t be getting a transplant at Duke.12
Yulia’s father added:
We’ve been up front the entire time we’ve been seen at Duke, for the last two years, that we were not comfortable with the vaccine, with the COVID-19 vaccine. And so they knew all along that we were not comfortable with this. And it wasn’t a requirement. It was… a recommendation, according to [the doctors] at first, until the very end.13
The father said that his daughter underwent a “nine-hour [medical] workup” in October and that that was when the doctors and hospital officials “decided or told us that this was going to be a highly recommended-slash-requirement for her to get a vaccine before she would get the transplant.”13
“There’s no sympathy whatsoever from any of them,” said Yulia’s mother. “It’s just strong arming us: give her the vaccine, and you’ll get the transplant.”12
Some Organ Transplant Candidates Refuse COVID Shots Afraid of Life-Threatening Adverse Reactions
One of the concerns about the COVID vaccines (notably the mRNA shots) expressed by transplant candidates has to do with the risk of developing life-threatening inflammatory heart conditions known as myocarditis and pericarditis.14
The ethics of denying organ transplant candidates life-saving transplant surgery because they do not want to take the risk with potentially life-threatening medical interventions, such as vaccination, is the subject of heated debates. Which side you come down on may depend on your view of the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine being required as a condition of getting an organ transplant.
Yet, it is hard not to see at least some degree of cruelty and grim irony in condemning someone to death simply because they do not wish to be injected with a biological product like the COVID shot, which is known to cause severe adverse reactions, including fatal ones. It places people in desperate need between a rock and a hard place. It just seems wrong.
Some Surgeries Rejected for Fear of Transfusions With Blood ‘Tainted’ by Vaccination
Interestingly, while there are some unvaccinated (for COVID) people in need of an organ transplant who are being rejected for the surgery, there are also some unvaccinated people needing surgery who may be reluctant to have the operation for fear of receiving a blood transfusion that could contain blood donated by people who have gotten COVID mRNA shots.15 16
“The problem is right now we have no choice,” said Swiss naturopath George Della Pietra, founder of the nonprofit SafeBlood Donation, which matches unvaccinated blood recipients with donors in countries around the world. “I get hundreds of emails asking me, ‘Do you have blood [available], because I have surgery coming up in three weeks,’” Della Pietra said.15
According to an article in the Independent Sentinel, Della Pietra and other unvaccinated people believe that the COVID mRNA shots “contaminate” the blood and cause the “eventual destruction of the immune system.” In short, they believe that blood may be harmful if received from vaccinated people.15
A good example of this occurred recently in New Zealand when parents of a four-month-old boy refused an operation requiring a blood transfusion for their baby using blood from the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) because the blood supply would include blood from donors who had received COVID shots.16 An article published by The Vaccine Reaction last week noted:
The parents expressed grave concerns about using blood from donors who had received the COVID shots and said they had more than 20 unvaccinated people who agreed to donate blood to their son for the operation. However, the hospital where the operation would be performed insisted on using donor blood provided by NZBS, which does not separate blood taken from vaccinated and unvaccinated donors.16
“We don’t want blood that is tainted by vaccination. That’s the end of the deal,” said the child’s father. “We are fine with anything else these doctors want to do.”16
While donated blood and plasma must go through a cleansing process before all transfusions, SafeBlood Donation does not believe that the process removes all mRNA ingredients. “I’m talking about graphene oxide and nondeclared inorganic components in the vaccine, which we can see in the blood,” Della Pietra said. “When I see them, I have no idea how we can get rid of them again.”16
Della Pietra thinks that unvaccinated people are getting vaccinated “more or less through the back door… You cannot avoid it anymore.”16
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Click here to view References:
1 Beese W, Staeger S. UCHealth requiring COVID vaccination for organ transplants ‘in almost all situations’. 9News Oct. 5, 2021.
2 CBS4. UCHealth Denies Kidney Transplant To Unvaccinated Woman & Donor. CBS News Colorado Oct. 7, 2021.
3 Crane E. Colorado hospital system denies organ transplants to unvaccinated patients. New York Post Oct. 6, 2021.
4 Creitz C. Washington state man claims hospital refusing transplants to the unvaccinated. Fox News Aug. 19, 2021.
5 Crist C. Colorado Health System Denies Transplants to Unvaccinated Patients. WebMD Oct. 6, 2021.
6 Faherty D. ‘I will die free’: Unvaccinated Burke County man denied kidney transplant by hospital. WSOC-TV Jan. 28, 2022.
7 Joseph A. Hospitals are denying transplants for patients who aren’t vaccinated against Covid, with backing from ethicists. STAT Jan. 26, 2022.
8 Knowles H, Caroline Anders C. Hospital system says it will deny transplants to the unvaccinated in ‘almost all situations’. The Washington Post Oct. 6, 2021.
9 O’Reilly D. Unvaccinated Man Who Was Denied Kidney Transplant After Refusing COVID-19 Jab Says He’s ‘Willing To Die’. MSN Jan. 31, 2022.
10 Salo J. North Carolina man denied kidney transplant over COVID vax refusal. New York Post Jan. 30, 2022.
11 Stratford S. Cleveland Clinic denies woman liver transplant over COVID vaccine refusal: ‘It was heartbreaking’ ABC4 Oct. 13, 2021.
12 Alexander H. Hospital condemns girl to death over COVID jab: Mother of adopted 14-year-old pleads for help after Duke hospital refused to perform life-saving kidney transplant because she is not vaccinated. Daily Mail Dec. 10, 2022.
13 Mackey M. Teen denied kidney transplant because she’s not vaccinated for COVID, say parents. Fox News Dec. 10, 2022.
14 Joseph A. Hospitals are denying transplants for patients who aren’t vaccinated against Covid, with backing from ethicists. STAT Jan. 26, 2022.
15 Schwendau M. ‘SafeBlood’ Sets Up Blood Banks for the Unvaccinated. Independent Sentinel Nov. 25, 2022.
16 Stein A. Nonprofit Blood Donation Service Starts Matching Unvaccinated Patients With Donors. The Epoch Times Dec. 7, 2022.
17 Hendler C. Parents Lose Custody of Baby After Refusing Transfusion Using Blood from COVID Vaccinated Donors. The Vaccine Reaction Dec. 19, 2022.