The University of Washington Medical Center denied organ transplants to patients who refuse a COVID vaccine as early as June 2021. And hospital officials refuse to answer basic questions about their policy.
In fact, they won’t even directly acknowledge they have a policy.
The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH has learned that UW Medicine removed a 64-year-old patient from the transplant waitlist. He says he was on the list for two and a half years. The hospital made the decision after they learned the patient refused to be vaccinated against COVID. They said they would consider adding him back to the waitlist should he satisfy their “compliance concerns.”
Last week, one vaccine-hesitant patient came forward. He says he was told the vaccine was mandatory before he could get a necessary liver transplant. The hospital does not deny any of the allegations.
Rantz: UW Medicine pulls heart transplant patient from list after refusing COVID vaccine https://t.co/mx2ilodqa3
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) August 18, 2021
UW Medicine denies a patient a heart
In June, Sam Allen of Monroe learned that his heart transplant surgery was on the line over his refusal to get the COVID vaccine.
The list of medical conditions Allen says he’s facing is long: mitral valve regurgitation, tricuspid valve regurgitation, aortic valve regurgitation, aneurism of thoracic aorta, and dilated cardiomyopathy.
He says three leaky heart valves impact the blood pumping into his lungs. Allen says it makes it difficult to breathe, which played a role in why he wouldn’t wear a mask. He previously underwent open-heart surgery, and he says his heart was damaged in the process.
After a disagreement over mask use, Allen says his doctor called him.
“The cardiologist called me and we had a discussion, and he informed me that, ‘well, you’re going to have to get a vaccination to get a transplant.’ And I said, ‘well that’s news to me. And nobody’s ever told me that before.’ And he says, ‘yeah, that’s our policy,’” Allen recalled.
Allen said he told the doctor he would not get vaccinated.
A few days later, Allen said he received a letter dated June 7, 2021. It informed him that he was pulled from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list for a heart.
“Your name has been removed from the waitlist at the University of Washington Medical Center. This was done in follow-up to your recent conversation with providers regarding the heart transplant selection committee’s concerns about compliance with COVID-19-related policies and recommendations,” the letter reads. “We can re-assess you for reinstatement on the waiting list should the compliance concerns resolve in the future or, if you wish, refer you to another center for evaluation in the meantime.”
It was signed by UW Medicine and the Cardiac Transplant/Advanced Heart Failure Therapies Selection Committee.
UW Medicine ignored Allen’s concerns
Allen says he wrote a letter to UW Medicine to express his disappointment with the decision. He shared the letter with the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.
“I understand that my choices have repercussions but I did not change the policy. I am most put off, not by your decision to remove me from the list, thereby removing any opportunity to live out my life at a near-normal level, but by the lack of scientific logic that dictates your ‘policy,’” he wrote.
He points to the side effects associated with the vaccine as why he did not want to get it.
“As a person who has spent much time and money at UWMC as a heart failure patient, I am being told I cannot get care for my condition unless I take an injection that has shown to cause cardiac problems,” he wrote. “It seems that a wise choice would be to not make a panic move and run to get injected with the experimental gene therapy until more is known.”
On Aug. 10, Allen received a response.
Bo Secord, assistant director of patient relations, said they received his letter and that it was shared with “appropriate leadership.” But they weren’t budging.
“As your provider noted, they are happy to re-evaluate should you change your mind,” Secord wrote.