A high school senior in North Texas was reportedly denied a kidney transplant by Cook Children’s Hospital because he wasn’t vaccinated against COVID-19.
Texas children's hospital denies teen kidney transplant over vaccination status: reporthttps://t.co/PVkdcsPHHI
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) February 19, 2022
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As Texas Scorecard explains, the young patient named Doss Haugen is in kidney failure a second time. His mother, Kristin, donated one of her kidneys to him when he was a one-year-old child.
Although Doss meets all of the health, social, and familial qualifications for receiving a transplant, Cook Children’s transplant committee is denying him based on his family’s refusal to risk using an experimental coronavirus vaccine on their son—whose own blood filtration system is already failing.
Doss has been in kidney failure for two years now, and his nephrologist recommended a transplant last May. In the lead-up to presenting his case to the transplant committee, Doss was subjected to a multitude of tests, including blood work, sonograms, MRIs, heart tests, and infectious disease testing.
Throughout the testing, Doss and his parents also met with the transplant coordinator. The transplant coordinator and surgeon approached Kristen and her husband, Eddie, about vaccinating Doss.
According to Kristen, they rattled off all of the general reasons for taking the coronavirus vaccines but did not mention anything about Doss’ specific case or the risks involved.
“[They] will not and do not discuss the risks involved with the vaccine. They do not even say there are risks too. They don’t tell you that side of it. They don’t tell you that it’s experimental, which, it is experimental. Because even if it’s been approved by the FDA, there’s no long-term anything. And they do not mention that there’s [a] risk of myocarditis”.”
Kristen listened to their reasoning and told them no. When they pressed, she simply told them that Doss would not be getting the coronavirus vaccination.
At this point, the transplant coordinator, who the family has known for years, responded:
“Well, just so you know, there are people on the transplant committee that do not believe transplant is a patient right. And he can just be on dialysis.”
Although Doss had great qualifications for the transplant, Kristen was warned his COVID-19 inoculation status could impact the committee’s decision.
Around two weeks later, the transplant coordinator called Kristen and said, “Just wanted to let you [Kristen] know that the committee did decide that we’re not going to actively list any patients on the transplant list that have not been vaccinated for COVID-19. I just wanted to give you that heads up.”
The hospital officially denied Doss the kidney transplant a few weeks later due to his COVID-19 inoculation status.
His family is searching for another hospital system without a COVID-19 jab mandate for transplant candidates.
“We’re not anti-vax or anything like that,” said Kristen. “We’re about safe products. Our son takes all kinds of medications. Obviously, we’re not like anti-medicine or anything like that. But we decide with our doctor, with our doctors’ help, whether medications’ benefit outweighs the risk. And ultimately, we are the ones, with our son, that have to live with the decision that’s made for him. We have a responsibility to him; our conscience will not allow us to get this vaccine. And that shouldn’t mean that he doesn’t get to get a transplant.”
However, that wasn’t the end of the disgusting medical discrimination against Doss and his family.
The Post Millennial explains:
Last December, the nephrologist that Doss was scheduled to see for lab work refused to honor the appointment because the young Haugen came into contact with someone COVID-positive within the last 12 days.
Tensions came to a head, the mother explained: “So, we go to get his labs done. And the phlebotomist, that’s been his phlebotomist for 18 years and we love her to death, said, ‘Oh, there’s a little issue with the order. So, let me call the doctor real quick. And I’ll get it sorted out, then I’ll be right back.’ She comes back in and that same nurse, that transplant coordinator, she called her [phlebotomist] and told her not to draw my son’s labs.”
Kristen Haugen had to speak with a hospital administrator and directly demand lab work be done. The staff finally agreed but they escorted Doss Haugen to a special ventilated room in order to do it.
Doss Haugen’s story isn’t an isolated case of transplant denials due to discriminatory policies defined by hospital higher-ups.