A 41-year-old Georgia mother who homeschools her seven young children has been rejected as a candidate for a life-saving kidney transplant because she has not received the COVID-19 vaccine due to her religious beliefs.
The woman, who does not wish to be identified by name, is undergoing dialysis three times a week and could lose her life without a transplant. However, Emory Healthcare in Atlanta is refusing to add her to a transplant list.
After being diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease, the woman was referred to Emory, one of the South’s leading transplant centers, by her nephrologist.
Although she was an acceptable candidate for a kidney transplant, the woman was informed by a social worker that she was unable to move forward with the transplant program unless she was vaccinated against COVID-19.
Emory Healthcare is reportedly one of just 35% of the nation’s transplant centers that still require their patients to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
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The patient is now being assisted by Liberty Counsel, a national non-profit legal organization. This organization sent a letter to Emory Healthcare on April 17, requesting that the woman be granted religious and medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement and that she be placed on the kidney transplant active waiting list.
The letter from Liberty Counsel also details the woman’s rights to a religious exemption, including evidence that every COVID-19 vaccine is associated with aborted “fetal cell lines.” Based on her Catholic faith, the patient is opposed to ingesting and/or being injected with this type of vaccine.
Liberty Counsel’s letter also informed Emory that the woman had already recovered from a COVID-19 infection and had therefore developed natural immunity to the virus.
After testing, it was found that she had stronger antibody numbers than many fully vaccinated individuals have after 90 days.
“Because of her acquired natural immunity and documented SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and other factors, she respectfully requests that the Transplant Team and/or Committee permit her to obtain an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccinations because of the risks associated with vaccinating someone with such a high antibody count,” the letter said
Liberty Counsel also cited a study from Johns Hopkins that suggested organ transplant recipients benefit even less than other people do from COVID vaccines – which isn’t a lot to begin with.
In a separate statement, Liberty Counsel added that the Georgia mother is opposed to getting the vaccine due to the risk of blood clots, myocarditis, and other heart-related issues that are associated with the COVID-19 vaccines.
In the letter to Emory, Liberty Counsel argued that, since no FDA-approved COVID shots are available, and all current vaccines are only under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), Emory should not be able to lawfully make the COVID vaccine a transplant requirement.
“The statutorily required Fact Sheets for each of the EUA COVID-19 vaccines acknowledge that individuals cannot be compelled to accept or receive the vaccine,” wrote Liberty Counsel, citing federal law.
“It is unconscionable to deny anyone a religious or medical accommodation from an experimental injection, especially someone who needs an organ transplant. Emory should be ashamed of its actions and reverse this unreasonable policy,” said Liberty Counsel chairman and founder Mat Staver. “Emory needs to do the right action immediately and allow this woman to receive the kidney she needs to save her life.”
Speaking to the Epoch Times on April 24, Emory Healthcare spokesperson Janet Christenbury said, “We continued to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses in our community. Based on these assessments, the Emory Transplant Center currently recommends, but does not require, COVID-19 vaccinations for kidney transplant candidates and kidney transplant recipients. Because of patient privacy rules, we cannot comment on specific patient cases.”