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Judge says it’s legally okay to deny an organ transplant to the unvaccinated

Thomas Lambert

July 13, 2022

Justice Paul Belzil just decided that it was legally okay for doctors to remove Canadians from organ transplant waitlists if they’re unvaccinated.

Judge says it's okay to deny unvaccinated an organ transplant
Judge says it’s okay to deny unvaccinated an organ transplant

As reported by the Westphalian Times’s Marie Oakes, Belzil filed his decision on Tuesday in a case concerning Annette Lewis, who was essentially given the choice of ‘comply or die’ after doctors changed the rules surrounding organ transplant waitlists to require being fully vaccinated.

According to Lewis, a doctor “told me if I did not take the COVID-19 vaccine, I would not get the transplant, and if I did not get the transplant, I would die.”

She added, “I ought to have the choice about what goes into my body, and a life-saving treatment cannot be denied to me because I chose not to take an experimental treatment for a condition — COVID-19 — which I do not have and which I may never have.”

But judge Belzil disagreed, arguing that “her beliefs and desire to protect her bodily integrity [do not] entitle her to impact the rights of other patients or the integrity of the [transplant program] generally.”

He ultimately ruled that the charter doesn’t apply to clinical treatment decisions and that Lewis’s rights, therefore, had not been violated.

Lewis isn’t alone in her struggle either. As previously reported by The Counter Signal, hospitals and health networks across the country have chosen to deny the unvaccinated organ transplants even when prospective patients are healthy and have found a donor.

In October 2021, Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN) (the largest health research organization in Canada and Canada’s largest transplant centre) adopted a policy requiring all organ transplant patients to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before doctors operate on them.

The decision immediately affected roughly 4,300 Canadians awaiting life-saving care, some of whom have likely passed away by now.

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