Canadian case: Refusal to have covid vax means no organ transplamt

Recent decision from the Alberta Court of Appeal, upholding doctors’ decision that a person who refuses a covid vaccine puts her to the bottom of the transplant list, even though she will likely die without a transplant.

Court held that the Charter does not apply to the medical judgment of physicians.

While it is sad and tragic that this woman will likely die I don’t have an issue with the stance that she needs to get a covid vaccine before receiving a new organ.

Organ recipients need to be current on all vaccinations and that needs to be done BEFORE they get their new organ in order to get maximum benefit.

Refusal to be vaccinated against a common, highly contagious disease greatly increases the risk of complications and death post-transplant, which would make the whole “transplant organ” exercise moot. The patient has had all her other vaccinations, but not this one. There is, apparently, no medical reason to skip the covid jab. Failure to comply with treatment protocols is, and long has been, reason to remove a person from the transplant list.

She has a choice: get a covid shot and stay near the top of the transplant list, or don’t get a covid shot and go to the bottom.

Apparently she’d rather die than get a covid vaccine.

Personally, I think that’s foolish but presumably she’s an adult and able to make her own decisions.

Meanwhile, an available organ can go to someone more rational about vaccines who will stand a greater chance of living longer post-transplant because they got vaccinated.

Da fuq?!

About the most absurd way to die I have heard of - to refuse a little jab. As was pointed out she has whatever jabs there were to date [like in the US, I may have actually had the child hood diseases in person but I also had to have the jabs to get into school]

I am a cancer survivor. If I was told that I needed every obscure jab there is to get treatment, I would be there with bells on [well, I have had a bunch of obscure jabs, I was a shot training dummy for a Navy medic class when I showed up with a foot cut needing a tetanus jab, they decided to give me all the recruit jabs, in addition to the overseas package, I was vaxxed for black death of all things =) ]

IANAD but I understand there are a number of behaviors that can get you kicked down the transplant list, including drinking (at all), smoking, etc. Transplant organs are a scarce and valuable commodity, and the medical establishment is (reportedly) quite ruthless in vetting candidates in order to ensure that the donated organ won’t be “wasted” by going to a patient that won’t take every step to ensure that it transplants without issue. Getting all appropriate vaccinations falls into the same category.

“Transplant candidates must also receive the seasonal influenza and hepatitis B vaccines, follow other healthy behaviors, and demonstrate they can commit to taking the required medications following transplant.”

Similar issues arise occasionally. Transplant doctors take success rates very seriously and given Canadian demand outweighing supply (in part since adequate matching is much more complicated than you might think), often prefer (or in many instances require) people who do not smoke, drink excessively, are not morbidly overweight and similar issues which have (to my limited knowledge) often been challenged in previous court cases.

This seems more of the same, excepting the trivial risks involved in vaccination, which is presumably easier to do than lose weight, curtail drinking or cease smoking. My sympathies are with the doctors. I am unsure if cases based on age have arisen, but suspect this is so. This is even harder to change so may have a little more merit in certain cases, which is controversial.

My daughter has been working for a company that schedules dog walks, pet home visits, and dog training. She has no direct contact with the pet owners, everything is scheduled with the company and all money is paid to the company. The company then pays her.

She has a profile listing any breeds she will not work with, her times available, etc. She also will only work with households where all humans are vaccinated. The company told her they were going to arrange a dog walk client for her and vaccination status was an issue. Apparently the people totally freaked out about discrimination.

I’m all for denying the woman her transplant. If I had my way people who refuse to get vaccinated would be denied access to any health care. It’s a good think I’m not the king.

We’ve had that discussion a few times during covid. I’m fundamentally opposed to that suggestion in our system of universal health care.

If I can play Devil’s Advocate here, there are a lot of people who think the covid vaccine does more harm than good. My landlord and landlady among them. The fact that they’ve been disinformed doesn’t make their belief any less strong.

There may be people who think bloodletting is a good thing. Doesn’t mean the healthcare system provides that as treatment.

It probably runs counter to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms too. As I said, it’s a good thing I’m not the king.

It doesn’t run counter to the Charter for surgeons to prioritize transplant patients with a better chance of a good outcome, as perhaps this case demonstrates. Although the case was apparently fought on the point of Covid vaccination, it likely was not the only issue of contention by the doctors, who would in any case want patients to follow advice, although I am unfamiliar with the details.

It is absolutely wrong to refuse routine or basic emergency medical care on this basis, such as not getting a sensible vaccination. I think most doctors would agree. I think Charter values should apply to most cases within reasonable limits, and more civil cases too, but things are already trending in this direction. They do apply broadly to institutions as well, but not for every routine decision, such as medical discretion.

Yes, I know it would be wrong to deny someone basic medical care. It would be Officially Wrong, in fact. But these people make me very angry and our health care system is about to burst and someone has got to pay for all this and a man can dream, can’t he?

Just as there are limited numbers of organs, there are limited numbers of hospital beds. The justification has been made that, due to the scarcity of organs, it makes sense to give it to someone who follows the rules. By the same logic, if putting an anti-vaxxer into a bed means denying one to someone who has gotten the vaccine, I think that prioritizing the vaccinated is an acceptable tradeoff.

Not saying that anti-vaxxers should be denied treatment, just that they should be at the back of the line.

Actually, there are two instances where modern medicine practices bloodletting for therapeutic purposes.

For hemochromatosis or other cases of iron overload drawing blood can reduce the levels of iron in the body to non-toxic levels.

And in cases where blood pumped into a superficially accessible body part (like a reattached finger, as just one example) is not sufficiently drained by the body leeches can be used therapeutically.

I hope your healthcare system provides bloodletting services when medically appropriate. :wink:

I knew someone would come back to me about leeches!

They prefer to be called Administration.

Also polycythemia. I had a friend who required regular bloodletting because she had polycythemia.

Agreed that this person is nuts for refusing the COVID vaccine and I have no problem with this judgment. What I do have a problem with is when transplant eligibility becomes a moral judgment. There was a case here a few years ago where someone with terminal liver disease was refused a transplant and IIRC could not even get on the transplant waiting list because he had been a heavy drinker. Apparently you have to demonstrate 12 months of total abstinence before even being considered. The terminal diagnosis naturally shocked this person into totally quitting drinking, but the disease was so advanced that he didn’t survive the necessary 12 months of abstinence. It seems like he was condemned to death on moral grounds, but then, I don’t know what the statistics are on how many other people die due to lack of available organ transplants.