On dialysis and potentially facing death, a 41-year-old homeschooling mother of seven young children has been rejected as a candidate for a life-saving kidney transplant by Emory Healthcare Inc. of Atlanta.
The reason? The woman, who has already had COVID-19, refused to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on religious and medical grounds.
To protect her privacy, the patient will be referred to in this article as Jane Doe.
Emory Healthcare did not respond to a request for comment.
Affiliated with Emory University, Emory Healthcare is one of the leading organ transplant centers in the South.
According to Liberty Counsel (LC), a national non-profit legal organization helping Doe, she was referred to Emory by her nephrologist after suddenly coming down with end-stage kidney disease.
The seriousness of Doe’s condition necessitates her undergoing dialysis three times a week to keep her alive.
Life or Death Decision
Doe’s hopes were soon dashed when, after another consultation with Emory staffers, a social worker informed her that she could not move forward to the transplant program’s “active waiting list” until she took the shot.
Emory Healthcare is one of 35 percent of the nation’s transplant centers that are still requiring their patients to be vaccinated for COVID-19, according to a Liberty Counsel analysis.
This is despite the fact that on April 11, President Joe Biden declared the national emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic officially over.
On April 17, LC sent a letter to Emory Healthcare requesting that no later than April 30, Doe be granted religious and medical exemptions from its COVID-19 vaccination mandate and asked that she be reactivated and placed on the kidney transplant active waiting list.
It cites evidence from the public health departments of North Dakota and Louisiana as proof.
Doe, a devout Roman Catholic, is opposed to ingesting or being injected with such vaccines based on her religious beliefs.
The Liberty Counsel also informed Emory Healthcare that there were strong medical reasons for Doe’s refusal to get the jab.
Standing on Natural Immunity
The demand letter stated that Doe had already recovered from a bout with COVID and that her antibody numbers were actually stronger than those found in many people who were fully vaccinated for 90 days.
LC cited several published, scientific, peer-reviewed studies as evidence.
“Because of her (Doe’s) acquired natural immunity and documented SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and other factors, (Doe) 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.
In an April 20 press release, Liberty Counsel called the risk of blood clots, myocarditis, and other heart issues associated with the COVID-19 vaccines as one of the bases of Doe’s medical objections.
LC also stated the legal position that, since there are no Food and Drug Administration-approved COVID shots available, and all the current vaccines are under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), Emory cannot lawfully condition providing a transplant upon a patient taking a shot.
Citing federal law, LC said in its letter to Emory that all individuals to whom a EUA product is offered must be informed they have a choice of whether or not to take it.
A Plea for Mercy
Liberty Counsel chairman and founder Mat Staver said in the press release, “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.
“Emory needs to do the right action immediately and allow this woman to receive the kidney she needs to save her life.”