A hospital in the United States refuses to perform a kidney transplant on an unvaccinated woman

A hospital in the United States refuses to perform a kidney transplant on an unvaccinated woman

Even on a good day, Linda Garinger of Ramona, California, thinks about death.

Since going on kidney dialysis two years ago, she has had heart attacks three times a week and heart problems related to her treatments.

Her energy is at a low level because her other vital organs are slowly failing. Her blood pressure is out of control – hovering around 200 systolic over “100-something” diastolic whenever she goes on dialysis.

Linda Garinger thinks it’s only a matter of time before her next heart attack, which could be fatal if she doesn’t get a new kidney.

“Dialysis is very stressful for me. My eyesight is weak. My hair is falling out. I have skin cancer,” said Garinger, who is 68 years old. “They said it was because the dialysis didn’t filter out all the bad stuff.”

“My biggest fear is that I will have a heart attack during dialysis. I’m going downhill right now”.

In 2022, Garinger was eagerly awaiting a kidney transplant at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego after finding a good organ for her daughter, doctors told her.

But, “I needed [a transplant] two years ago,” Garinger said.

Early last May, Garinger received an unexpected letter from the hospital saying she was no longer on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list for a kidney transplant.

“The reason for this change in status is that you have not received your COVID vaccination,” according to a May 6, 2022, letter from Garinger shared with The Epoch Times.

“Once this situation is resolved, you will be evaluated for reactivation on the transplant waiting list.”

Garinger did not appeal the hospital’s decision. She knew subconsciously that her unvaccinated status would always be a problem.

Still, she trusted Sharp Memorial, only to undergo tests, medical procedures and consultations at significant Medicare expense.

“They knew all along that I was not vaccinated and that my daughter was not vaccinated. They would always ask me: “Why don’t you want to get vaccinated?”

I was pretty persistent, Garinger said. – I didn’t want to take anything that was still experimental.

She recalled her good friend who died two weeks after receiving the COVID vaccine. “She lived here, [across the street],” Garinger said.

Garinger said she was lucky to find another hospital nearby that would perform the procedure without receiving the vaccine.

The challenge now is the time it will take to complete all the necessary paperwork and preliminary procedures, the time it will take to get on the kidney donor waiting list, and the time it will take to find a donor.

She fears that her time will run out before then.

A sympathetic doctor said, “Linda, you could drop dead. Your heart could stop’. So I have to watch what I eat, and on days when I’m not on dialysis, I take this powder that tastes like sand” to get excess potassium out of my body.”

Garinger found herself among the many people who need organ transplants but are faced with a medical system that still adheres to vaccine protocols in many institutions.

In the Healio Transplant Survey 2021, 60 percent of the 141 transplant centers that responded did not require preoperative vaccination against COVID-19. The study sample represented just over 56 percent of transplant centers in the United States.

Jeffrey Childers, an attorney based in Gainesville, Florida, has served clients who were faced with being forced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in hospitals and medical clinics during the pandemic.

He said Garinger’s case reflects the “Covid mania” that has permeated the medical establishment since 2020.

“This was an ugly manifestation of the emerging COVID management regime,” Childers said. “All the cases get a lot of attention because people are horrified. But people waiting for transplants will be told that they have limited resources, that they only get so many organs each year, and that we must give them to the people with the best chance of survival. He will hide behind it forever”.

Life and death decisions

Childers said health care facilities still have a lot of discretion in making key decisions about COVID-19 vaccines.

“To see these kinds of life-and-death bureaucratic powers wielded by people who are not motivated by science, but by — something else — is appalling,” Childers said.

“I ran into it a few times in Florida. Applicable law varies by country. The people who manage these donor lists and tasks have a lot of discretion.

“It’s even scarier that it’s happening now, so late in the pandemic, when the accounts have disappeared. You cannot find a single person who says they regret not getting the vaccine. But you can find tons that go in the opposite direction.”

Childers said vaccine advocates argue that an unvaccinated recipient is more likely to die of COVID-19 after transplant surgery than a vaccinated patient.

“I don’t know the official narrative anymore,” he told the Epoch Times. “The vaccine does not prevent you from dying. It doesn’t stop you from getting sick.”

A November 2022 study by MDPI, a Swiss publisher of open-access scientific journals, claims that the 60-day mortality rate among unvaccinated kidney transplant patients was 11.2 percent at the time of COVID-19 infection.

The study showed that the death rate among those vaccinated was 2.2 percent. More than two-thirds of the 144 patients in the study received kidney transplants.

In contrast, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine in September 2022 found that some corneal transplant patients rejected the grafts after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

In some cases, rejection occurred 20 years after the procedure.

Childers believes the science generally does not support the idea that unvaccinated transplant recipients have an increased risk of dying from COVID-19.

“The argument is always not to donate an organ to someone who lives a high-risk lifestyle or increases the risk of dying from something else,” Childers told The Epoch Times.

“That’s the logic they’re applying to this. They’re actually saying that if [patients] don’t get the vaccine, they’re at a higher risk of dying from COVID. Therefore, they do not want to voluntarily donate an organ to someone at high risk”.

Ohio attorney Warner Mendenhall, who represents clients in mandatory vaccine cases, said he knows of at least 60 organ transplant denial lawsuits working through the medical freedom group Liberty Counsel.

Each case involves a client who refuses to receive the COVID-19 vaccine required for transplant surgery.

“We see [graft rejection] in many hospitals across the country,” Mendenhall said.

And while the medical establishment remains divided over the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, some “people are concerned about blood clotting and other problems that occur in vaccinees.”

“Especially if you have liver and kidney problems and you need that kind of transfer, you don’t want to get vaccinated before the transplant. That’s my understanding,” Mendenhall said.

“Fiduciary responsibility” towards patients

Often, the unvaccinated transplant patient maintains a long-standing medical relationship with the hospital or clinic without problems prior to the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine.

For this reason, Mendenhall believes there is a “trusting relationship that hospitals have with the transplant patient.” A breach of that duty would be a “genuine breach of that fiduciary responsibility to them”.

According to the Chronic Disease Research Group, an estimated 37 million people in the United States have kidney disease in various stages.

About one million Americans are in the final stages of the disease. At the same time, 550,000 are undergoing kidney dialysis to remove excess toxins from the blood because their kidneys cannot perform this function.

The average wait time for a kidney transplant in the United States is three to five years at most health care facilities, but in some parts of the country it is longer, according to kidney.org.

“It is best to investigate transplantation before starting dialysis. In this way, you may be able to receive a transplant ‘preventively’, before you need dialysis,” the organization’s website states.

“It takes time to find the right transplant center for you, to complete a transplant evaluation, to get on the waiting list for a deceased donor transplant, or to find a living kidney donor if you can.”

Garinger said she has end-stage 5 kidney disease and needs dialysis almost every other day to survive.

“I’m going crazy,” said Garinger, who was out of breath as he walked into the kitchen.

“Right now I can’t walk to Costco or the grocery store. My muscles are very weak. I can no longer reach my chickens”.

Her daughter, Emily Lewis, 35, recently graduated from a medical assistant program and is now her mother’s caregiver while she waits for a kidney transplant.

“I put my life on hold for [my mother],” Lewis said, though he has no regrets.

With her career in limbo, Lewis said she’s angry at the injustice of the COVID-19 order, while also doubting that vaccines even work.

“Everyone I know who was vaccinated against COVID had the disease four or five times. And I had zero,” Lewis told the Epoch Times.

Denied access to the kidney waiting list at Sharp Memorial, Garinger discovered that UC San Diego Medical Center was willing to perform a kidney transplant.

But the longer it takes to find a kidney donor, the more likely he will not return to a more normal life.

She characterized her relationship with her doctors at Sharpe Memorial as hostile because she was against taking the COVID-19 vaccine under any circumstances.

She remembered the doctor in Ramona who constantly “pressured” her about the vaccine.

He said, “What are you going to do if you get COVID? What if you get COVID and have to go to the hospital?”

“Well,” she told him. “I have this protocol in the fridge — vitamins C and D. I have ivermectin. Number one: I’m not going to the hospital. There is a death penalty there.”

“I suppose you know more than I do,” said the doctor as he stood up and left the room.

“I didn’t know I had an opponent” or that I was an “evil person”. I just had the feeling that they were going to deny me [the kidney] because they kept pressuring me about the injection.”

“They did the same thing to me,” Emily said.

– Why aren’t you vaccinated?

At one point, Garinger demanded data showing the vaccine’s side effects.

“They weren’t there,” she said. “It came down to the last conversation with the surgeon. All he could ask me was: “Why don’t you get vaccinated? Why don’t you want to get vaccinated?”

“I don’t have COVID,” Garinger said. “[Emily] does not have COVID. The second thing they told me was that they had found a donor. And then I went to UCSD, and the blood test showed that she wasn’t a match.”

Sharp Memorial did not respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment. The UCSD Medical Center did not respond to an email seeking comment.

New Orleans attorney David Dalia said Garinger’s case appears to be medical “discrimination.”

“They are discriminating against her based on her vaccination status,” he said.

During the pandemic, Dalia worked on vaccination cases with Frontline physicians, filing amicus briefs on behalf of 1.5 million federal employees who refused to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as ordered by President Joe Biden.

“The truth is that [Garinger] has a much better chance of living than a vaccinated person. We can support that. They see it as a kind of disability”.

“Well, it’s a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Federal law specifically states that all drugs approved for experimental use are strictly voluntary and subject to informed consent.”

Dalia said that informed consent is “never forced.”

As Garinger goes through the admissions process at UCSD Medical Center, there are good days, bad days and “hell” days.

“I sit in a chair all day,” said Garinger, who ran a successful foreclosure business before retiring due to illness. “[Emily] helps me cook. She does all the chopping and stuff. I have a chair in the kitchen. I go to the kitchen and start cooking. I don’t work much. My gardening is on hold — everything is on hold. My muscles are gone. I use an electric cart to go to Costco. I can’t do anything. I was out of breath. That’s bullshit.”

“Every part of my body is failing. So I’m on hold until I get a kidney.”

Equally painful are the times when people call her “evil” because she refused to receive the mRNA vaccine against COVID-19.

“You will give [Covid] to everyone,” they tell her. – You are evil for not getting vaccinated.

“That’s how I felt,” Garinger told The Epoch Times.

She said another fear is receiving a kidney from a vaccinated donor, with unknown health effects, because there is no way to tell which donor is vaccinated and which is not.

Sensing her time is running out, Garinger said she remains determined to keep fighting in the time she has left.

“I have to do this. Every day something else is wrong with me because my kidneys have failed, Garinger said.

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