A Colorado-based hospital system confirmed it denies organ transplants to most patients who haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.
The highly controversial policy uses immunization status to ration medical care. Doctors explained how unvaccinated patients are far more likely to die.
That defense did little to stave off controversy from the unvaccinated. Yet, the University of Colorado Hospital’s health system remains defiant. UCHealth Spokesperson Dan Weaver said that unvaccinated patients had forced the company’s hand. In this case, implement crisis standards of care. These guidelines help healthcare providers deliver the best possible care based on their patients’ chances of survival.
Hospitals nationwide have adopted crisis standards of care as the delta variant runs rampant across parts of the country.
Not Its First Brush With Controversy
The developments in Colorado coincide with news that UCHealth fired 119 unvaccinated workers. (RELATED: Australia Warns Unvaccinated Face ‘Difficult Life Indefinitely’)
Weaver did encourage terminated employees to re-apply after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the FDA.
While that might offer consolation to fired UCHealth employees, the company’s transplant rule has become a political hot potato.
As The Washington Post reports:
UCHealth’s rules for transplants entered the spotlight Tuesday when Colorado state Rep. Tim Geitner (R) said it denied a kidney transplant to a Colorado Springs woman because she was not vaccinated against the coronavirus. Calling the decision “disgusting” and discriminatory, Geitner shared a letter that he said the patient received last week from UCHealth’s transplant center at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus in the city of Aurora.
The letter said the woman would be “inactivated” on a kidney transplant waiting list and had 30 days to start coronavirus vaccination. If she refused to be vaccinated, it said, she would be removed.
The COVID-19 Vaccination Divide Widens
Although UCHealth wouldn’t comment on protected health information, it confirmed that most transplant recipients must meet stringent health requirements, including vaccination against COVID-19.
Above all, it says, studies show that the mortality rate for transplant recipients who contract COVID-19, especially patients receiving kidney transplants, is exponentially higher. Between 20% to over 30% compared to the average fatality rate of 1.6%.
The Post adds:
While more than a third of Americans have yet to get one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, leaders and businesses have increasingly embraced vaccine mandates over intense opposition from Republicans, who champion personal choice. The unvaccinated may face unemployment or more expensive health insurance and in some places are barred from parts of public life, such as indoor dining.
Then there are the risks of the coronavirus. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths have spiked around the country this summer and fall as the highly contagious delta variant dominates, though Colorado has seen less of a surge. Current covid-19 hospitalizations in the state remain well below a peak from winter of 2020.
Still, 17 people die waiting for an organ transplant in the United States every day. If you’re in Colorado, you might want to start looking for medical care elsewhere.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.