Albertan Says She Was Almost Removed From Lung Transplant List Due To Refusing To Get COVID-19 Vaccine – And There Is A Chance She Could Still Be Removed In The Near to come up.
Annette Lewis, a 57-year-old woman from Wetaskawin, says she will die without a double lung transplant.
But this summer, she alleges that Alberta Health Services (AHS) threatened to remove her name from its donor list because of her immunization status.
“They called me and told me that to get the transplant I needed the COVID-19 vaccine,” Lewis said in an interview with the Laura Lynn Show.
“(But) my lungs, they’re in terrible shape, and I can’t risk getting the vaccine.”
Lewis called the vaccination “experimental” and claims it resulted in “really bad side effects” and death.
Both claims are strongly contested by most medical professionals.
Lewis says doctors called her and said her name would be taken off the list if she continued to refuse to be vaccinated.
Court documents show that she sent a notice of claim to the University of Alberta Hospital, AHS and six doctors.
“When she was placed at number two on the list of transplant recipients, unilaterally and without merit, an ultimatum – the demand – was issued to the applicant,” the file reads.
Lawyer Allison Pejovic said a deal was recently reached that will keep Lewis on the list until the injunction is argued in court and the judge delivers a ruling.
“So (now) if those lungs come in and they’re compatible with her, she’s going to have the operation, and we don’t have to argue this case at all,” Pejovic told CTV News. “Obviously for her that’s extremely emotional. Is she afraid of losing? You know, it’s no guarantee of winning.”
AHS did not make any specific comments on a patient, but sent a statement saying, in part, “transplant programs have an obligation to do everything possible to obtain the best possible results from the precious resource of donation. organs COVID-19, particularly the Delta variant, is a highly infectious and virulent virus that has an even greater impact on immunocompromised individuals such as lung transplant recipients. “
Transplants are a limited resource and often subjective decisions about patients and their future quality of life must be made before they are placed on a waiting list.
“All transplant programs in Canada have long required that patients preparing for transplantation receive all the vaccines that are suitable for them in order to maximize their chances of success after transplantation,” the AHS statement read.
An ethics expert agreed.
“A set of lungs that become available become available because someone has passed away,” said medical bioethicist Juliet Guichon.
“There is a moral obligation on the part of the transplant team to put the lungs in a body that is likely to benefit the lungs for as long as possible.”
Guichon called the case “sad,” saying she felt compassion for Lewis because she refused to be vaccinated.
“There are other people on the list who have complied with the guidelines that would help the patient to be as strong as possible,” Guicon added.