Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is leading the effort to hold medical facilities accountable for withholding lifesaving care from people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Legislation introduced by Paul would prohibit government funds from going to healthcare facilities that have denied patients care based on their immunization status. It would also protect the rights of patients to make decisions about their health without being punished.
“No American should be denied access to critical care based on a personal medical decision, yet tragically, many hospitals and other medical facilities continue to discriminate against those unvaccinated for COVID-19,” Paul said
No American should be denied access to critical care based on a personal medical decision, yet tragically, many hospitals and other medical facilities continue to discriminate against those unvaccinated for COVID-19. https://t.co/VnBkBZRazf
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) February 15, 2023
“The COVID-19 Vaccination Non-Discrimination Act will protect the rights of vulnerable patients to make their own healthcare choices and ensure that federal taxpayer dollars do not support facilities that turn away patients based on their COVID-19 vaccination status,” he added.
According to Paul’s office, the American Medical Association (AMA) has pleaded for doctors to still provide care for patients, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.
However, there have been cases around the country that shows healthcare providers denying medical care to unvaccinated patients.
For example, in Boston, Brigham and Women’s Hospital denied a heart transplant to a 31-year-old father because he wasn’t vaccinated against COVID-19.
The hospital told D.J. Ferguson that he was “ineligible” for the procedure due to his vaccination status.
“We are literally in a corner right now. This is extremely time sensitive. This is not just a political issue. People need to have a choice!” Ferguson’s family said.
Furthermore, in North Carolina, a 14-year-old girl was denied a kidney transplant from Duke University Hospital because she wasn’t vaccinated against COVID. The girl argued she already had the virus and therefore had natural immunity.
Duke Health officials noted that they would not comment on individual patient cases, but that “our hearts go out to all families coping with the serious illness of a loved one.”
In the House of Representatives, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) is introducing Paul’s legislation.
“There’s no reason that medical facilities should deny care to people based on their COVID-19 vaccination status, and there’s certainly no reason for institutions that do so to receive any federal funding,” he said.
Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Tom Cotton (R-AK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Mike Braun (R-IN) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) are co-sponsors of the bill.