Mayo Clinic has declined to consider a kidney transplant for an unvaccinated woman with stage-four kidney disease, she told Alpha News.
That woman, Amy Broten, received a letter Nov. 1 informing her that her kidney transplant evaluation was denied.
“You have medical issues that need to be stabilized and/or improved prior to evaluation. The medical issues include: patient not willing to comply with the transplant team immunization requirements and recommendations,” the letter says.
Broten is a 46-year diabetic with heart disease. Now 53 years old, she suffered a heart attack in 2013 and was diagnosed with stage-three kidney disease. Her illness progressed a few weeks ago and she was told she needed a transplant.
Broten said her doctors referred her to the Mayo Clinic transplant program, which declined her request for a kidney transplant evaluation because of her vaccination status.
“I’m tired. I don’t have any energy anymore,” Broten told Alpha News.
She said she spoke with a nurse from the transplant team who refused to continue the conversation when Broten said she wasn’t vaccinated against COVID-19.
“It infuriates me,” Broten said. “They won’t even put me on the organ list because I’m not vaccinated.”
Broten said she told her doctor that she won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine unless “you can prove that nothing will happen from it.”
“That should be my right,” she said, noting that she’s now searching for hospitals that will perform transplants on unvaccinated patients.
Mayo Clinic said it cannot comment specifically on Broten’s case but confirmed that it requires transplant candidates to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“These patients have a higher risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19. Mayo Clinic’s requirement for transplant patients follows current standards of care in accordance with national guidelines. There is also a critical shortage of lifesaving organs available,” a spokesperson said.
“Mayo Clinic takes seriously the responsibility to ensure that patients who receive an organ have the best possible outcome,” she continued. “Transplant candidates are already required to meet strict criteria, including being current on several vaccinations, undergoing preventive screenings and making healthy lifestyle changes.”