Heart patient taken off transplant waiting-list for refusing COVID-19 vaccine
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A 31-year-old man in need of a heart transplant in Boston has been taken off his transplant waiting list because he refused to take the COVID-19 vaccination on ideological and medical grounds, the NY Post reports.
A father of two, with a third child on the way, DJ Ferguson has been hospitalized at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital since November, when his lungs filled with fluid and blood due to a hereditary heart problem, the Post said. Ferguson has been told he must have a heart transplant, and was put on the waiting list to receive one, the Post said. However, he has now been taken off that list because he has refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to his father David, taking the shot is against DJ’s beliefs. “It’s kind of against his basic principles, he doesn’t believe in it. It’s a policy they are enforcing and so because he won’t get the shot, they took him off the list of a heart transplant,” David told reporters. The Ferguson family has also heard from doctors about the possibility of DJ’s heart-stopping if he took the vaccine, and this is another reason for resisting it. “[The doctors] confirmed that his heart COULD swell and go into severe crisis but they can’t guarantee anything and it’s a choice we will have to make if he wants to be listed,” the family says on a gofundme page.
The Brigham and Women’s Hospital told the Post its policy on all CDC-approved vaccines is designed to optimize patients’ survival after transplant operations. According to the hospital, non-vaccinated transplant patients stood a much higher chance of dying of COVID-19 than vaccinated patients. “Our Mass General Brigham healthcare system requires several CDC-recommended vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, and lifestyle behaviors for transplant candidates to create both the best chance for a successful operation and to optimize the patient’s survival after transplantation, given that their immune system is drastically suppressed,” the hospital said.
“Patients are not active on the waitlist without this,” the hospital added. “We do everything we can to ensure that a patient who receives a transplanted organ has the greatest chance of survival.”
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