Yahoo’s Julie Mazziotta reports a 31-year-old father of two, with one on the way (a third child), is being denied a heart transplant by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston because he is unvaccinated.
“DJ Ferguson, 31, is desperately in need of a heart replacement, but will not get a COVID-19 vaccine,” Mazziotta reported. “That puts him up against Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s policy, which requires transplant patients to be vaccinated against the virus.”
The hospital issued a statement to PEOPLE and said it does not comment on specific patients, but its policy is designed to give organs to patients most likely to survive.
“Given the shortage of available organs, we do everything we can to ensure that a patient who receives a transplanted organ has the greatest chance of survival,” they said. “Our Mass General Brigham healthcare system requires several CDC-recommended vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, and lifestyle behaviors for transplant candidates to create both the best chance for a successful operation and to optimize the patient’s survival after transplantation, given that their immune system is drastically suppressed. Patients are not active on the waitlist without this.”
Ferguson’s father, David, said his son has “gone to the edge of death to stick to his guns.”
“His heart has now deteriorated so much to the point where it will not work on its own,” David said.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, however, is tax-subsidized and has received millions in federal grants.