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Woman denied kidney transplant because she refused Covid vaccine

… Religious organizations agree: Covid vaccines do not contain cells from aborted fetuses

When my friend Art Martynuska was waiting for a heart transplant in the mid-1990s, he talked about his major concern with the surgery — fear of rejection. He was willing to go to any length to avoid that, and because of it, he lived for ten years with the heart of another man before passing away in 2006.

However, a woman in Colorado who is facing the same kind of health risk is not willing to go to any length to save her life. Leilani Lutali, who belongs to no religious organization but calls herself a born-again Christian, according to the AP, believes that the Covid 19 vaccines used cell lines from aborted fetuses and refused to take any vaccine.

As a result, her hospital would not allow her to receive a kidney transplant.


Because a transplant causes problems with weakened immune systems, most hospitals require that a recipient be vaccinated. In addition, not having the vaccine raises the chances of not surviving to about 20 percent,

Even though she has stage 5 kidney disease that puts her at risk of dying without a new kidney, Lutali, 56, said she could not agree to be vaccinated because of the role that stem cells have played in the development of vaccines.

“As a Christian, I can't support anything that has to do with abortion of babies, and the sanctity of life for me is precious,” she said.

UCHealth requires transplant recipients to be vaccinated because recipients are at significant risk of contracting COVID-19 as well as being hospitalized and dying from the virus, spokesman Dan Weaver said. Unvaccinated donors could also pass COVID-19 to the recipient even if they initially test negative for the disease, he said.

“Studies have found transplant patients who contract COVID-19 may have a mortality rate of 20% or higher," he said.

It’s not clear how common this type of policy is.

The American Hospital Association, which represents nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems and networks in the United States, said it did not have data to share on the issue. But it said many transplant programs insist that patients get vaccinated for COVID-19 because of the weakened state of their immune system.

Patty Neiberg, “Woman who refuses to get vaccinated

denied transplant,” Associated Press, October 8, 2021

Most religions disagree with her interpretation

Most major religious organizations agree that no aborted fetal cells were used in the development of the vaccines,

Many major religious denominations have no objections to the COVID-19 vaccines. But the rollout has prompted heated debates because of the longtime role that cell lines derived from fetal tissue have played a role, directly or indirectly, in the research and development of various vaccines and medicines …

[T]he Vatican’s doctrine office has said it is “morally acceptable” for Catholics to receive COVID-19 vaccines that are based on research that used cells derived from aborted fetuses. Pope Francis himself has said it would be “suicide” not to get the shot, and he has been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer formula.

Patty Nieberg, AP, October 8, 2021

“Powerful regime of drugs”

Art used to tell me about how many pharmaceutical drugs he had to take after the heart transplant. That is very common,

While any type of surgery may stress a patient’s immune system and leave them vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 later, organ transplants recipients are even more at risk because they have to take a powerful regime of drugs to suppress their immune system to keep their body from rejecting the new organ, which is seen by the body as a foreign object, Nancy Foster, AHA’s vice president for quality and patient safety policy said in a statement.

“Further, if patients were to wait to get their vaccine until after the surgery, it is unlikely that their immune system could mount the desired antibody reaction given that they are taking anti-rejection medications,” she said.

Patty Nieberg, AP, October 8, 2021

I respect people for following their religious beliefs, but they must realize that when medical transplant authorities have to make decisions about whom to give an organ, they must take into account the willingness of the person to go the extra mile as Art did.

In addition, remember that the person who is next in line may be willing to do that, and if a person who is reckless enough to lessen his or her chances of survival by at least 20 percent, then that decision is an easy one for them.

I feel sorry for her only in that she is listening to the wrong people about her "religious" beliefs, whatever they may be.

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