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An American removed from the heart transplant list because he refused a Covid-19 vaccine

Boston, Massachusetts – A Boston hospital has said it will not perform a heart transplant on a patient who refuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

DJ Ferguson, 31, previously had priority for a heart transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital but is no longer eligible because he refuses to be vaccinated, Ferguson’s family said, according to a CBS Boston report.

“It’s something against his basic principles – he does not believe in it,” said the patient’s father, David Ferguson. “That is the policy they are pursuing and that is why, because he does not want to receive the vaccine, he was removed from the list for a heart transplant.”

Brigham and Women’s Hospital explained the logic behind the decision:

“Like many other transplant programs in the United States, the COVID-19 vaccine is one of the few vaccines and lifestyle habits required of transplant candidates in the Mass General Brigham system to create the best chance of a successful operation. and for patient survival after transplantation. “

Other medical experts said they supported the hospital’s policy, noting that the immune system was extremely weak after the transplant, making vaccines even more important.

“After every transplant, kidney, heart, whatever, your immune system is off. “The flu can kill you, the cold can kill you, Covid can kill you,” Dr. Arthur Kaplan, chief of medical ethics at Grossman School of Medicine in New York, told CBS Boston.

“Organs are deficient: we will not distribute them to someone who has a poor chance of survival when others who are vaccinated have a better chance of surviving surgery.”

Ferguson’s family said they were not sure what to do next as he refused to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. They were considering transferring him to another facility, but admit he may not survive the trip.

“We are aggressively exploring all options, but we are running out of time,” said David Ferguson.

The family said that although they received excellent care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, they did not agree with the policy.

“I think my boyfriend is fighting pretty bravely, and he has integrity and principles he really believes in, and that makes me respect him even more,” Ferguson said of his son, a father of two with another on the road. “It’s his body. That’s his choice. ”

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