Patient rejected for transplant over vaccine refusal

·2-min read
 (AP)
(AP)

A heart patient has been rejected for a transplant because he has not had the Covid vaccination, his family say.

DJ Ferguson, 31, has been in hospital in America for almost 50 days with heart failure and needs a transplant to survive.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital policy states he is no longer eligible because he hasn’t received the jab which his family says he does not want to have.

On their GoFundMe charity fundraising page, they said “transplant board will not actively list him due to his vaccination status”.

They said the vaccine can cause “swelling in the heart” and “in DJs case he can NOT afford for his heart to swell any more than it already is right now”.

The father-of-two, who has another child on the way, suffers from a hereditary heart issue and was first taken to hospital in November with suspected pneumonia.

“Brigham told us he has to have the vaccine to accept a heart,” his mother Tracey Ferguson said.

“He is not an anti-vaxx person. He has all of his vaccines, but there are some adverse reactions given his condition, and he is a man, he made his decision.”

Brigham and Women’s Hospital said it couldn’t comment on individual patients due to US laws.

“Our Mass General Brigham healthcare system requires several CDC-recommended vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, and lifestyle behaviours 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 in a statement.

Dr Arthur Caplan, the head of medical ethics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, told CBS News the vaccine was necessary for this kind of procedure.

“Post any transplant, kidney, heart, whatever, your immune system is shut off,” he said.

“The flu could kill you, a cold could kill you, COVID could kill you. The organs are scarce, we are not going to distribute them to someone who has a poor chance of living when others who are vaccinated have a better chance post-surgery of surviving.”

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