UCHealth, a healthcare system in Colorado, US, is prohibiting organ donations for patients who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19. The University of Colorado healthcare system has mandated for the patients to be vaccinated before any such surgeries, as per the reports of The Gazette. According to a medical ethicist, UCHealth's approach is growing more widespread countrywide and may soon be normalised. Recently, a woman was denied a kidney transplant as she and her donor both were unvaccinated against the deadly Coronavirus.
A man named Tim Geitner tweeted an image of a letter that he claimed was given to an El Paso County kidney transplant recipient on Tuesday. A UCHealth official wrote in the letter that the patient would be transferred to an inactive position on the transplant list because they hadn't been vaccinated and that if he or she didn't start the vaccination process within 30 days, the patient would be completely removed from the list.
UCHealth denies life saving treatment - kidney transplant - to El Paso County resident. See my FB live post @timgeitnercolorado pic.twitter.com/Z2r8D2VY4m— Tim Geitner (@tgeitner) October 5, 2021
The woman has only 12% kidney function, as per post put out earlier by Geitner. UCHealth spokesperson Dan Weaver verified and defended the policy in an email to The Gazette on Tuesday afternoon. He gave links to multiple papers suggesting that COVID is associated with a much greater risk of mortality in kidney transplant recipients, and he added that it is a common protocol for transplant recipients and donors to take particular precautions.
It's unclear whether UCHealth is the only organisation in Colorado that is enforcing such a policy. But, according to Matthew Wynia, director of the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus's Center for Bioethics and Humanities, the approach is growing more widespread across the country and may soon become normal. Other vaccinations, such as those for hepatitis B, are already mandated.
According to Wynia, he's on an email chain with about 700 other physicians and bioethicists. Acquiring and necessitating the COVID vaccination for transplant recipients is a highly active issue of discussion, as per the reports of The Gazette. However, given the level of criticism against several vaccines, for several reasons, he raised concerns about its future inclusion or potentially other vaccines in those plans.