A Boston hospital has denied a heart transplant to 31-year-old DJ Ferguson, who was at the front of the line, after he refused to get the COVID vaccine.
Ferguson, a father of two, suffers from a hereditary heart condition that causes his heart and lungs to fill with blood and fluid. Although in dire need of a heart transplant, the hospital has completely removed him from the transplant list, effectively eliminating his chances of receiving this lifesaving operation.
Boston Brigham and Women’s Hospital released a statement on the matter, saying, “Like many other transplant programs in the United States – the COVID-19 vaccine is one of several vaccines and lifestyle behaviors required for transplant candidates in the Mass General Brigham system in order to create both the best chance for a successful operation and also the patient’s survival after transplantation.”
This policy was further explained by the head of medical ethics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Dr. Arthur Caplan. “Post any transplant, kidney, heart, whatever, your immune system is shut off,” Caplan said. “The flu could kill you, a cold could kill you, COVID could kill you. The organs are scarce, we are not going to distribute them to someone who has a poor chance of living when others who are vaccinated have a better chance post-surgery of surviving.”
Despite the COVID vaccine being a prerequisite for a heart transplant, Ferguson has held strong to his beliefs. Ferguson’s father, David, said “It’s kind of against his basic principles – he doesn’t believe in it.”
With a third child on the way, Ferguson’s family is fighting for his survival. However, they cannot transfer him at present because of how weak he is. Ferguson’s wife, Heather, wrote on Facebook that “‘DJ is unable to leave the hospital until he gets the heart surgery he needs. Without the surgery, his lungs and heart will continue to fill up with blood and fluid (on top of everything else that’s going on).”
“I think my boy is fighting pretty damn courageously and he has integrity and principles he really believes in and that makes me respect him all the more,” said David Ferguson.
The same situation occurred back in October when Leilani Lutali, a devote Christian who refused the vaccine because of the use of aborted babies’ stem cells in its development, was removed from the transplant list despite needing a kidney transplant. Lutali’s prospective kidney donor, and friend, was also removed as a possible donor because they, too, refused the vaccine for religious reasons.