A US hospital has rejected a patient for a heart transplant at least in part because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.
DJ Ferguson, 31, is in dire need of a new heart, but Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston took him off their list, said his father, David.
He said the Covid vaccine goes against his son's "basic principles, he doesn't believe in it".
The hospital said it was following policy.
Brigham and Women's Hospital told the BBC in a statement: "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."
A spokesman said the hospital requires "the Covid-19 vaccine, and lifestyle behaviours for transplant candidates to create both the best chance for a successful operation and to optimise the patient's survival after transplantation, given that their immune system is drastically suppressed".
The hospital's carefully worded statement may suggest other factors lie beyond the patient's unvaccinated status for his ineligibility, but it refused to discuss specifics, citing patient privacy.
Dr Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, told CBS News that after any organ transplant a patient's immune system is all but shut down and even a common cold can prove fatal.
"The organs are scarce, we are not going to distribute them to someone who has a poor chance of living when others who are vaccinated have a better chance post-surgery of surviving," said Dr Caplan.
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Source: BBC News, 26 January 2022