Organ Transplants Denied Over Vaccination Status

By: George William

Sam Allen, 64 of Monroe, WA is in need of a heart transplant. His list of medical issues is vast: mitral valve regurgitation, tricuspid valve regurgitation, aortic valve regurgitation, aneurism of thoracic aorta, and dilated cardiomyopathy.

In June, Sam learned that his heart transplant surgery was on the line over his refusal to get the COVID vaccine.

The University of Washington removed the 64 year old from the wait-list and said they would consider adding him back to the waitlist should he satisfy their “compliance concerns.”

After a disagreement over mask use with his doctor because Sam reports to already have difficultly breathing, his doctor called him.

“The cardiologist called me and we had a discussion, and he informed me that, ‘well, you’re going to have to get a vaccination to get a transplant.’ And I said, ‘well that’s news to me. And nobody’s ever told me that before.’ And he says, ‘yeah, that’s our policy,’” Allen recalled.

After this, Sam received a letter in the mail letting him know he had been removed from the wait-list.

“Your name has been removed from the waitlist at the University of Washington Medical Center. This was done in follow-up to your recent conversation with providers regarding the heart transplant selection committee’s concerns about compliance with COVID-19-related policies and recommendations,” the letter reads. “We can re-assess you for reinstatement on the waiting list should the compliance concerns resolve in the future or, if you wish, refer you to another center for evaluation in the meantime.”

Sam wrote a letter in response to UW Medicine saying, “I understand that my choices have repercussions but I did not change the policy. I am most put off, not by your decision to remove me from the list, thereby removing any opportunity to live out my life at a near-normal level, but by the lack of scientific logic that dictates your ‘policy,’”

He continued, “As a person who has spent much time and money at UWMC as a heart failure patient, I am being told I cannot get care for my condition unless I take an injection that has shown to cause cardiac problems,” he wrote. “It seems that a wise choice would be to not make a panic move and run to get injected with the experimental gene therapy until more is known.”

Bo Secord, assistant director of patient relations said in the final response with Sam, “As your provider noted, they are happy to re-evaluate should you change your mind.”

Another patient, Derek Kovic, who also went to UW of Medicine came forward and said that he was told, if he wanted to stay on the wait-list for a liver, he had to get the vaccine.

hospital spokesperson Susan Gregg said they merely “recommend that all solid-organ transplant candidates be vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Susan had this to say upon further questioning, “Our physicians make a determination regarding vaccine recommendations and requirements, including COVID-19 vaccination, based on the risk factors of the individual patient and degree of immunosuppression they will experience.”

Gregg indicated that if a doctor makes a treatment a requirement, then a patient must follow it.

“Our physicians work with their patients to make a determination regarding vaccine recommendations and requirements, including COVID-19 vaccination, based on the risk factors of the individual patient and degree of immunosuppression they will experience,” Gregg told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Several more patients had come forward in emails claiming the same story. When asked if there was a written or unwritten policy that denies patients for transplant based on vaccination status, Susan and Lisa Brandenburg, president of UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics didn’t answer.

For Allen, it’s leading to a sober reality for life if he doesn’t get the heart transplant: It may end.

“It absolutely will lead to my death,” he said.

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