AURORA, Colorado (LifeSiteNews) — A Colorado hospital has denied a kidney transplant to a woman suffering from stage 5 renal failure because she and her donor have refused to take the experimental COVID vaccine.
Leilani Lutali was notified in a letter from Colorado hospital system UCHealth on September 28 that she was being “inactivated” from the kidney donor waiting list “for non-compliance by not receiving the COVID vaccine.”
— Tim Geitner (@tgeitner) October 5, 2021
The hospital told Lutali that she has 30 days from the date of the letter to receive one of the experimental COVID shots. If she continues to “refuse COVID vaccination,” she will face being “removed from the kidney transplant list.” Conversely, if she completes a full regimen of “vaccination” against the novel coronavirus, then her name will be “reactivated.”
Lutali has met a willing donor through her bible study group, Jaimee Fougner, who has also not received the COVID shot. According to a Sky News report, Fougner received the same letter from UCHealth, informing her that without COVID inoculation, the hospital would not proceed with the surgery.
Lutali told CBS4 that UCHealth had confirmed at the end of August “that there was no COVID shot needed at that time” before they would proceed with the transplant surgery. “Fast forward to September 28. That’s when I found out. Jaimee learned they have this policy around the COVID shot for both for the donor and the recipient.”
While Lutali is concerned about how much is yet unknown about the COVID jabs, Fougner cited religious reasons for her decision to forego the shot.
As things stand, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) co-run by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has racked up a total of 752,803 adverse event reports following a COVID shot.
While cases of severe harm reported to VAERS after taking COVID shots represent less than one percent of total doses administered in the United States, a 2010 report submitted to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) warned that VAERS caught “fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events.”
Keen to forge ahead with the surgery, Lutali said she would sign a medical waiver, if that helped satisfy UCHealth. “I have to sign a waiver anyway for the transplant itself, releasing them from anything that could possibly go wrong,” she said. “It’s surgery, it’s invasive. I sign a waiver for my life. I’m not sure why I can’t sign a waiver for the COVID shot.”
“I feel coerced. I feel like my life is being held in their hands in exchange for a shot, and the attitude is ‘Just take the shot,’” Lulani said, according to a Denver7 report.
Fougner insisted that the decision to receive treatment, even if risky, should be in the hands of the patient. “In Leilani’s case, the choice has been taken from her. Her life has now been held hostage because of this mandate,” Fougner added.
“Here I am, willing to be a direct donor to her. It does not affect any other patient on the transplant list,” she continued. “How can I sit here and allow them to murder my friend when I’ve got a perfectly good kidney and can save her life?”
LifeSiteNews received a statement from UCHealth Vice President of Communications Dan Weaver, who said that the top priority of the hospital is “to provide excellent, safe care for transplant patients before, during and after a transplant surgery.”
Weaver asserted that, “In almost all situations, transplant recipients and living donors at UCHealth are now required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to meeting other health requirements and receiving additional vaccinations. Some U.S. transplant centers already have this requirement in place, and others are making this change in policy now.”
According to UCHealth, “[p]atients who have received a transplanted organ are at significant risk from COVID-19,” citing a mortality rate of “20% or higher. A living donor could pass COVID-19 infection on to an organ recipient even if they initially test negative for the disease, putting the patient’s life at risk.”
Rep. Tim Geitner (R-CO) drew attention to Lutali’s case in a Facebook Live video, in which he revealed that Lutali has tested positive for COVID antibodies, yet the hospital refused to allow an exception to their rule on this basis.
Geitner told viewers that despite documentation proving her immunity, “UCHealth is refusing to render this type of care, this type of life-saving care. This isn’t even just typical care, this is life-saving care.” “There is very little that UCHealth is prepared to do … an exemption to policy or a change in policy or accommodating or anything else.”
He described the decision by the hospital as “incredibly frustrating, incredibly sad, incredibly disgusting,” and Lutali could be affected in “a dramatic and profound way.”
The women have said they are now looking at other options but have not been able to find another hospital in Colorado willing to carry out the procedure. They now seek assistance outside of the state.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated.