Hospital denies new heart to young anti-vaccine dad

A man is being denied a heart transplant because he will not get vaccinated against Covid.

he 31-year-old’s father, David Ferguson, told CBS Boston TV his son, DJ, is fighting to stay alive at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“He has gone to the edge of death to stick to his guns,” he said.

The family say Mr Ferguson was at the front of the line to receive a heart, but according to hospital policy he is not eligible because he has not been vaccinated.

The older Mr Ferguson said getting vaccinated is against his son’s “basic principles” and “he doesn’t believe in it”.

“It’s a policy they’re enforcing, so because he won’t get the shot, they took him off the list for a transplant,” he said.

The hospital said that “like many other transplant programmes, the Covid-19 vaccine is one of several vaccines and lifestyle behaviours required for transplant candidates in the Mass General Brigham system to create the best chance for a successful operation and the patient’s survival after transplantation”.

Dr Arthur Caplan, the head of medical ethics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, said the vaccine is necessary because after any kind of transplant “your immune system is shut off”.

“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,” Dr Caplan said.

Mr Ferguson has two children and a third on the way. His family say they are considering having him transferred, but he may not be strong enough.

“We are pursuing all options, but we are running out of time,” his father said.

The family have said Mr Ferguson has been given great care at the hospital, but they do not agree with the vaccination policy. (© Independent News Service)

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