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LINK Hospital refusing heart transplant for man who won't get vaccinated

A Boston hospital says it won't consider performing a heart transplant on a patient who refuses to get vaccinated against COVID-19, CBS Boston reports.

DJ Ferguson, 31, is fighting for his life at Brigham and Women's Hospital and in desperate need of a heart transplant.

His father, David Ferguson, is speaking out passionately on behalf of his son who, he told CBS Boston, "has gone to the edge of death to stick to his guns and he's been pushed to the limit."

DJ's family says he was at the front of the line to receive a transplant but hospital policy stipulates that he's no longer eligible because he hasn't received the vaccination. And David Ferguson says his son simply won't.

"It's kind of against his basic principles — he doesn't believe in it," David Ferguson says. "It's a policy they are enforcing and so, because he won't get the shot, they took him off the list (for) a heart transplant."

Brigham and Women's released a statement saying, "Like many other transplant programs in the United States — the COVID-19 vaccine is one of several vaccines and lifestyle behaviors required for transplant candidates in the Mass General Brigham system in order to create both the best chance for a successful operation and also the patient's survival after transplantation."

Dr. Arthur Caplan, the head of medical ethics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, explains that being vaccinated is necessary for this type of procedure.

"Post any transplant, kidney, heart whatever, your immune system is shut off," Caplan 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."

DJ is a father of two children with a third child on the way. His family says they're not sure what they plan to do. They're thinking about transferring him, but he may be too weak to be moved.

"We are aggressively pursuing all options, but we are running out of time," David Ferguson said.

And while the family says DJ has received great care from doctors and nurses at Brigham and Women's, they just don't agree with the heart transplant COVID vaccination policy.

"I think my boy is fighting pretty damn courageously and he has integrity and principles he really believes in and that makes me respect him all the more," David Ferguson said.

Which is why the family is sticking by his side and hoping for the best. "It's his body. It's his choice," Ferguson added.

HippieChick58 9 Jan 25

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26 comments (26 - 26)

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I hope the family sues for millions

Tejas Level 7 Jan 25, 2022

They'll lose.

@JonnaBononna not if I had any say in the matter

That would be stupid of them. They'll lose.
The hospital is completely within their purview to deny the transplant.
The dumbass refused the vaccine and literally denied himself a new heart.

@Tejas too bad you won't lol

@JonnaBononna As they should! You would think if he wanted to live so badly he would do everything asked of him to live. He is responsible for his own death if he continues with his idiocy!

@JonnaBononna Yes, they will lose. No shot, no heart. Just like my anti-vaxx daughter. No shot, no chemo. The medical community does not give a crap about your supposed "Constitutional right." If the Internet would have been a thing in the 1950's we would still have polio today.

@JonnaBononna it's the same thing as denying people who are obese smoke or drink a much needed organ. I don't care what you people say its wrong.

@Tejas If people refuse to do what's required to be eligible for a transplant, that's on them.
Someone else, who has done all the things they're supposed to, deserves it.
There's nothing wrong about not wasting life-saving donated organs on idiots.

Good top hear from the peanut gallery. Fuck him. Fuck all the antivaxxers.

@KKGator I wonder what you would say if a child needed an organ and their parents didn't have them vaxxed. My mom didn't have me vaxxed for chicken pox when I was a kid do I deserve to die to? Where is the line drawn? There is a higher likey hood of dieing from numerous other things than covid

@Tejas no, it's right. If someone isn't willing to maximize their life expectancy and the life of the organ, they shouldn't get the organ. Give it to someone who will care for it.

@Tejas I bet if you needed a transplant to live and couldn't get it without the vaccine, they'd have given it to you and fast. And if they didn't, no organ for you. If bet if it was reversed and they said he couldn't get it because he was vaccinated, you'd say, "Well he shouldn't have been a sheep!!! No organ for him!!!"

@JonnaBononna why would I say he shouldn't get it if vaxxed? That doesn't make sense and going against my original point. At his age he doesn't need to worry about covid generally speaking. Out of everyone who gets covid less than 2 of 10 people need any medical care at all, and even less so for his age group. He is more likely to get and die of cancer or heart disease, statistically speaking.

@Tejas People who destroyed their liver with alcohol or drug addiction should get a new one without correcting their behavior? What? Should we put them on a program where they a new organ every year like a flu booster?
Same with smoking, they should get new lungs so they can destroy those too? Not to mention that any major surgery is increased risk because smokers are bleeders.
Surgery on the morbidly obese is also higher risk and is why most hospitals will not do the stomach altering surgery for weight loss until they lose a significant amount of weight on their own.
Besides the risk of hundreds of pounds of excess weight, there needs to be shown a commitment to the life style change, rather than thinking the surgery is magic.
And as to smoking, I worked with a woman a few years back who really needed knee replacement, but the doctors refused to schedule surgery until she had been smoke free for six months.
Guess who refused to quit smoking and trash talked the doctor?
Self-centered people are like that. Probably a Libertarian.

Sue? They would not find a lawyer to take the case. Lawyers take personal injury cases they think they can win.
Maybe a lawyer as crazy as that bug-eyed, black sweat leaking Rudy G.

@Tejas with a heart transplant he would basically have no immune system. Covid would kill him

@JonnaBononna Yep. Immunosuppression drugs.

@Tejas they do deny people for lots of reasons. Below came from a website about organ transplants.

There may be some medical conditions that affect the risk of transplant for you. An example of an issue that can affect your transplant candidacy is a current or recent cancer diagnosis. Speak with your transplant team to talk about future possibilities of getting a transplant after your cancer has cleared.

Other factors that may affect transplant candidacy:
Serious heart disease
Not being healthy enough to survive an operation
Active infection
Obesity (being overweight)
Smoking or substance abuse

People do not get put on lists all of the time because they do not meet all of the criteria. Organs are rare and they need to go to the people who will look after them the most.

@Tejas You are conflating multiple issues.

It is required that organ transplant patients be vaccinated. Period.
If parents want their at-risk child to be eligible, they'll have their child vaccinated. If they CHOOSE not to, and their child dies, it's on them.
Your mother not getting you vaccinated against chickenpox is not remotely the same thing. It's sad that you don't understand that.

The line HAS been drawn very clearly.
If you want to be on the transplant list, do what you're told to stay on it.

@JonnaBononna I'm sure some people here could say the vaccine made them sick for a few days, couldn't the vaccine kill someone who already has a weak heart?

@Tejas "likelihood" is what I think you meant (not "likely hood" ). I make all kinds of typos, but I also proofread. Try it. People might take you more seriously.

@Tejas, @JonnaBononna Covid would most likely kill him and I bet it would be a miserable death. Compounding his already serious heart condition with a wretched deadly virus. A horrible way to die.

@MyTVC15 which is why he should get the vaccine- transplant or not.

@Tejas I don't think the vaccine would affect him that severely. Actually getting covid would be worse.

@MyTVC15 language is forever changing and along with that grammar and spelling. To correct someones grammar is fairly pointless especially if you know what the person ment. Just in the last 15 years abbreviations are the new norm, just for efficiency. Turning the word "you" into "u" for example. I bet in just a few life times language will be alot different from as we know it now.

@Tejas As a Reading Specialist and reading/writing interventionist, I take your point. However, to be taken seriously it is best to use the current conventions. It was your spelling I was commenting on, not your grammar. Furthermore, I am certain that if you wrote "u" instead of "you" on a job application, you would not get the interview. And finally, I think you meant "meant" not "ment". I take it you missed a lot of fourth grade when they were teaching how to add suffixes to base words (re: ment, ful, hood, etc.).

@JonnaBononna Just agreeing with you and demonstrating how bazaar I think the whole thing is. Transplants at B&W kind of hit home with me and I am blown away but the way some people are choosing to deal with this pandemic and how up-side- down the world has become.

@MyTVC15 you can be a grammar nazi all u want. I use my phone 100% of the time on here and auto correct is always on so sometimes what I type out right or wrong doesn't type out the way I intended. If you were to reject someone a job based on if they typed "u" instead of "you", you're just a being a bitch to me.

@Tejas again, I was correcting your spelling, not your grammar. And I don't do the hiring, but the people who do like to hire people who are literate.

@MyTVC15 you are just using that as an excuse to try to make my point seem irrelevant. Funny how you didn't point out anyone else's grammar or spelling mistakes, including your own

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