Hospital denies kidney transplant to unvaccinated woman: Report

The patient and her donor said they were taken off the transplant list because they are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
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Doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine
Doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine
(JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

A hospital in Colorado removed a woman from a kidney transplant waiting list because she was not vaccinated against COVID-19, according to reports. 

According to Fox News, kidney patient Leilani Lutali and her donor, Jaimee Fougner, are unvaccinated. Lutali is in stage five renal failure, and did not get the vaccine, citing too many unknowns. Fougner did not get it for religious reasons. Both were removed from the transplant list

"Here I am, willing to be a direct donor to her. It does not affect any other patient on the transplant list," Fougner told CBS4, a local news station. “How can I sit here and allow them to murder my friend when I’ve got a perfectly good kidney and can save her life?"

All transplant recipients, and their living donors, are required to be vaccinated prior to the procedure in order to protect patient health, the hospital reportedly said. 

"I said I’ll sign a medical waiver," Lutali reported said. "I have to sign a waiver anyway for the transplant itself, releasing them from anything that could possibly go wrong. It’s surgery, it’s invasive. I sign a waiver for my life. I’m not sure why I can’t sign a waiver for the COVID shot."

In August, Lutali said the hospital informed her that getting a vaccine wouldn't be a prerequisite to getting the transplant. The policy changed following the approval of Pfizer-BioNtech’s vaccine. 

Lutali and Fougner are looking at hospitals in nearby states, including Nevada and New Mexico.