Colorado Hospital Denies Kidney Transplant For Dying Patient, The Reason Why Is Shocking
The University of Colorado’s health system announced Tuesday that patients awaiting an organ transplant must be vaccinated to qualify to receive a transplant.
“In almost all situations, transplant recipients and living donors at UCHealth are now required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to meeting other health requirements and receiving additional vaccinations,” UCHealth said in a statement. “Some U.S. transplant centers already have this requirement in place, and others are making this change in policy now.”
Leilani Lutali, was on the kidney transplant list at UCHealth but has been removed from active status because she has not received the vaccine for COVID-19. Lutali’s potential donor, Jamie Fougner, was taken from the donor list for the procedure as she is also unvaccinated. Both Lutali and Fougner cite religious concerns regarding the vaccine, according to KDVR, a local news station.
“Both from a religious standpoint, and from doing some reading, I’m not certain that this is the right way to go,” Lutali said. “The shot’s relatively new, and as a consumer, I’m not an early adopter, I wait and see what’s going on. I feel like I’m being coerced into not being able to wait and see, and that I have to take the shot if I want this life-saving transplant,” according to the station.
Fougner voiced similar concerns, saying that she’s a “strong no on the vaccine, for sure,”
“We’re talking about compromising my morals, for her right to have a surgery,” she said. “How can I sit here and allow them to murder my friend when I’ve got a perfectly good kidney and can save her life?”
The women met and became friends in a bible study ten months ago but neither thought they would need the vaccine for the transplant operation.
Lutali received a letter from UCHealth saying that she had been taken off the donor list due to non-compliance with the new vaccine ruling. “You will have 30 days to begin the vaccination series. If your decision is to refuse COVID vaccination you will be removed from the kidney transplant list,” the letter said. Should Lutali have the full vaccination she would be reactivated on the kidney transplant list.
UCHealth said in a statement that “patients who have received a transplanted organ are at significant risk from COVID-19” and that “a living donor could pass COVID-19 infection on to an organ recipient even if they initially test negative for the disease, putting the patient’s life at risk.”
Lutali now has stage 5 renal cancer and the women have checked with other hospitals in Colorado but found none that would allow them to go through with the procedure unless fully vaccinated. They are currently researching other states about having the procedure without being vaccinated.
Hospitals are not facing vaccine mandates alone, as Major companies have also begun to mandate vaccines for their employees. On Sept. 9, Biden authorized the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to declare that businesses with more than 100 employees either be required to get the vaccine or to submit to weekly testing.