(Video: Fox News)
Hospitals and doctors who have forgotten or willfully ignore the Hippocratic Oath have been denying some transplant patients the surgeries they need to stay alive, and all because the patients aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19. As a result, some patients are looking to the state of Texas for relief.
Colorado’s UCHealth system recently told Dawn McLaughlin, a woman with polycystic kidney disease, she was being removed from the kidney transplant waitlist because she won’t get the COVID vaccine, CBS4 reported.
Earlier in October, another Colorado woman, Leilani Lutali, despite having stage five kidney disease, found out her hospital won’t approve her transplant surgery unless she gets vaccinated.
UCHealth’s reasoning is that transplant patients who then contract COVID-19 have a 20 to 30 percent mortality rate. “This shows the extreme risk that COVID-19 poses to transplant recipients after their surgeries,” UCHealth told Fox News in a statement.
They added in their defense that patients who receive transplants that are initially successful require a lifetime of special care to mitigate the possibility of organ rejection, which, in the worst cases, can result in death.
“Physicians must consider the short- and long-term health risks for patients as they consider whether to recommend an organ transplant,” UCHealth said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott disagrees with that mentality and says all are welcome in his state.
“Here in Texas, vaccines remain voluntary and never forced,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office told Fox News in a statement. “Anyone being denied critical, life-saving organ transplants is welcome here in Texas, where one’s rights and freedoms are always protected.”
Texas State Rep. Briscoe Cain, a Republican, told Fox News he was pleased that Texas hospitals have “chosen to put patients before politics.”
“It seems too many in the medical profession have forgotten their oaths,” Cain said.
It should be noted that, especially given its size, Texas hospitals may not all have a unified approach to vaccines and vaccine mandates. In June, Houston Methodist Hospital suspended more than 170 members of its staff for two weeks after they refused to take a COVID-19 vaccine, referring to them as “disgruntled employees.”
Aiding in the effort to assist patients wishing to come to the Lone Star State is the Niklas Organ Donor Awareness Foundation, based in Grand Prairie, Texas, which is offering to help people like McLaughlin and Lutali find housing while they await organ transplants.
Rodney DeBaun told the outlet he is not against vaccines per se, having received one himself, but he believes the decision to get one is a “personal choice.”
“It’s not up to the government to dictate whether you do, whether you don’t (get the vaccine),” DeBaun said.
He also doesn’t agree with UCHealth’s bleak assessment of risk and mortality rates among transplant patients. DeBraun was a transplant patient himself, having received a heart transplant in 1993. He remains optimistic and thankful every day for the extension of his life.
“I’ve been given 28 years of life. My boys were 8 and 11 years old, and I’ve gotten to see my kids grow up. I now have grandkids,” DeBaun told Fox News. “My philosophy is that I need to earn every single day that I’ve got. So, we just try to help any way we can help.”
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