Leaked audio recorded by an Alberta patient awaiting a lung transplant shows a healthcare worker telling her she will be dropped from the transplant list if she doesn’t agree to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), which is representing patient Annette Lewis, released the audio, in which an unnamed member of the transplant team at the University of Alberta Hospital, gives Lewis the ultimatum.
“Pre-transplant patients are going to be required to have the COVID vaccine,” the healthcare provider says.
Lewis suffers from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal condition affecting both of her lungs. Her lungs were functioning at 40% capacity two months ago. If she doesn’t receive the transplant, she will die.
The JCCF sent a letter to the hospital calling for an exemption from the vaccine requirement. The JCCF is demanding confirmation of such within seven days.
In the letter, the JCCF notes Lewis “has chosen not to take the new COVID-19 vaccine because it is experimental, and she fears the growing list of life-threatening complications that have been reported.”
The letter also points out that Lewis has already complied with the bulk of the hospital’s required vaccines, including childhood vaccinations.
“The hospital’s conduct in making an ultimatum of this nature to a terminally ill patient is coercive and unethical. Threatening a patient’s access to life-saving medical treatment for not participating in an experimental treatment for a condition she does not have and may never get is a profound violation of Ms. Lewis’ human dignity, personal autonomy, and her constitutionally protected right to life, liberty and security of the person,” said JCCF staff lawyer Allison Pejovic.
There have been close to 7,000 reported deaths between December 2020 and June 2021, according to the US Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Health Canada has not fully authorized the vaccines and has introduced them under an interim order, placing warning labels for adverse events such as blood clotting, myocarditis, Bell’s Palsy and pericarditis. Those receiving the vaccine at this time are a part of the human clinical trial, which will go on until 2023.