Kidney Transplants and Vaccinations

“The transplant team at University of Colorado Hospital has determined that it is necessary to place you inactive on the waiting list. You will be inactivated on the list for non-compliance by not receiving the COVID vaccine. You will have 30 days to begin the vaccination series. If your decision is to refuse COVID vaccination you will be removed from the kidney transplant list. You will continue to accrue waiting time, but you will not receive a kidney offer while listed inactive. Once you complete the COVID vaccination series you will be reactivated on the kidney transplant list pending any other changes in your health condition.”

Even though she has stage 5 kidney disease that puts her at risk of dying without a new kidney, Leilani Lutali, 56, said she could not agree to be vaccinated because of the role that fetal cell lines played in some vaccine development. Several types of cell lines created decades ago using fetal tissue are widely used in manufacturing or testing of medical products, though the cells used today are clones of the early cells, not the original tissue.

“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.

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.

Transplant centers in Washington, Vermont, Massachusetts and Alabama have polices requiring that recipients be vaccinated, according to news reports.

Cleveland Clinic recently decided to require COVID-19 vaccinations for both transplant recipients and living donors, the organization said in a statement.

The policy change is driven by the significantly higher mortality rates, as well as the concern that living donors could still pass on a COVID infection after testing negative.

So what are the ethics involved in denying a transplant it the recipient or living donor refuse to get vaccinated for Covid?

Our Colorado woman stated she felt she was being coerced to make a choice she was not comfortable with in order to live.  Her choice was based on religious grounds

“Don’t want this to be hinged on my freedom of choice being taken away from me, and that’s what I feel is happening here,” she said.

Now personally I think it is hilarious that this fine Christian woman is complaining that she doesn’t have a choice.

Her friend who was donating the kidney also refused vaccination on similar grounds.

“I said if I’m the one, and I can’t give her my kidney, essentially I’m also now condemning my friend to death, because I can’t get the vaccine.”

Where is the Hippocratic Oath in all this?   Let’s talk about the oath. Dr, Joel Wu, a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota, made the following observations.

+The ethics of a transplant surgery really prioritizes one thing.    “We’re trying to maximize the opportunity for a good outcome from what’s otherwise a really risky, a really complicated and a really involved, enterprise here,” Wu said. “When you get a transplant you’re not done after the surgery. There’s a lot of stuff you’ve got to do.”

A transplant requires the taking of serious anti-rejection drugs in order to prevent rejection of the kidney.  Not being vaccinated against Covid means (a) you are more likely to catch it and (b) if you are on anti-rejection drugs and catch it you are a dead man – or woman.  And you will take a scarce donated kidney with you.

“When we’re talking about scarce resources, there really are two things that need to be balanced,” Wu said. “The first is that there is some obligation to maximize and optimize the benefits that are available out of the resources. So you want to maximize the benefit and minimize harm. The other is that the benefits and burdens are distributed fairly.”

And bioethics focuses on whether that is an investment worth making because organs are rare. According to, 114,927 Americans are on the transplant list, waiting for an organ.

Cleveland Clinic recently refused to perform a kidney transplant because the living donor was unvaccinated.  There was much talk about freedoms being taken away.

Cleveland Clinic responded as follows:

“The health and safety of our patients is our top priority. Cleveland Clinic has recently developed safety protocols for solid organ transplantation that require COVID-19 vaccination to be an active transplant candidate or living donor. Vaccination is particularly important in these patients for their safety.  

Living donation for organ transplantation has been a life-saving treatment, but it is not without risks to the donor.  For the living donor, preventing COVID-19 infection around the time of their surgery and recovery is crucial. We continually strive to minimize risk to our living donors, and vaccination is an important component to ensure the safest approach and optimal outcomes.

For organ transplantation using a living donor, which involves the living donor undergoing a scheduled surgery, we are requiring COVID-19 vaccination for both donor and recipient before we can proceed with the surgery, for the safety of both. 

I for one would  not wish even to be treated by an unvaccinated nurse if I was hospitalized   But that’s just me.  I think patients who come into the emergency room with Covid and are unvaccinated should to to the end of the line.


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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15 Responses to Kidney Transplants and Vaccinations

  1. There are no “aborted fetal tissue” in any COVID vaccination. For a person, Christian or not, to refuse the vaccination because such tissue may have been used in the testing of the vaccination, is being a religious zealot, & they have to take the consequences of their zealotry. If that means they can’t get medical care at a facility that requires them to be fully vaccinated, then so be it. They made that choice & they have to live with it … & die with it. I expect they will be happy to be meeting their Maker anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. beetleypete says:

    I feel the same about this as I do with Jehova’;s Witnesses who refuse blood transfusions. Let them die then, and give the much-needed hospital beds to sensible people instead. It is their right to refuse treatment, even if it means their death. No point complaining when faced with the consequences of a religion you supposedly espouse. Millions of people have ‘do not resuscitate’ orders in place already, and you don’t hear them complaining if nobody resuscitates them.
    If they believe in the Christian God, or Jehovah (whatever the difference is for witnesses), then surely they are going to a ‘better place’ anyway?
    Best wishes, Pete.


  3. “Damn those unvaccinated to hell!!!!!! Kill them! Murder them! They are whale turds!!!!!”

    Your path ends in fascism and death camps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • toritto says:

      Oh please! Get a grip! Take the fuking vaccine! You have been vaccinated as a child against diphtheria, small pox, tetanus. measles, mumps, rubella, polio and Christ knows what else. The fuking unvaccinated have jammed our hospitals andare 11.3X more likely to die than vaccinated persons. Have some fuking consideration for your family and neighbors. No. You don’t give a rat’s ass about others. Its only YOUR “freedom” that counts – not the common good.

      As for fascists, I’ll bet you believe the last election was stolen though there isnot a shred of evidence. I’ll bet you supported those fascists in congress who voted to overturn the election results. And of course you think the insurrectionists of Jan 6 were “tourists”.

      Fascists are already here.. You are one of them. I suggest you you go post your bullshit elsewhere – or on your own blog.


  4. unabashedliberal says:

    This may come as a shock, but, some medical facilities, including hospitals, don’t have vaccination mandates for COVID 19. (at least not in “the South”)

    Called local regional hospital about two weeks ago–no mandate at this time.

    According to the local newspaper about six to eight weeks ago, only 50% of that hospital’s staff were vaccinated.

    Plan to follow up next month, to see if anything has changed.

    (but, not holding my breath, since according to the State COVID Dashboard, cases have gone done over the past month)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. toritto says:

    to covidpilot – Go away. If you post here again I will erase you. Write you own blog


    • Mia Pharaoh says:

      Wow! Are your replies the unsubstantiated rants from an angry, miserable, unhappy old guy? Why would you want to silence the voice of a fellow human being? Do you feel the unvaccinated are less than human? And, honestly from the comments you can’t determine what the jab status of “thecovidpilot” is. Ugliness is to the bone, humanity is the glue that holds ALL people together. I’ve been reading you for years and I’m greatly taken aback by your replies. I remember reading (over the years), you claim to be an atheist, please correct me if I’m wrong. FYI, you don’t need to believe in God to practice humanism. This has nothing to do with shots, it has to do with being human. This makes me very, very sad, feel free to remove me too if you’re so inclined! I do wish you the best. Regards, Mia.

      Btw, you’re an adult, you can correctly write out the word: “fucking” rather than “fuking”.


      • People who have made a deep emotional investment cannot bear logical arguments which undermine their investment. In this case, I suspect that fear is the underlying emotion behind his commitment to vaccines. And if you try to prove to someone that they have been fooled, they will hate you. Expect to be censored. I have been banned many times from the blogs of those running high on emotion.

        They really don’t care if they are fascists because in their view the common good justifies their actions. That’s just how fascists think.

        In Nazi Germany, the Nazis used fear of Jews and Socialists to whip up support. In the case of the pandemic, the unvaccinated are the targets of fear to whip up support for the health nazis and to make money for pharma and the CDC people like Fauci.


      • toritto says:

        Mia – I’m sorry you feel that way. Sorry but his comments were misinformation and istated that vaccinations lead to “fascism and death.” Oh and by the way, the cloned cells exist because the “researcher took the kidneys out a a “baby girl” and then let her bleed to death.”
        You may have sympathy for the poor fellow but I don’t, He obviously spends his time trolling for pro-vaccine posts because he has never been here before. He didn’t just stumble here; he spends his time looking for posts like mine – which by the way is quite unremarkable. Transplants are being denied to unvaccinated persons by some hospitals including the Cleveland Clinic and I happen to agree with that policy. Women in Texas have to drive out of state to get an abortion; transplant patients who won’t get vaccinated can drive to Texas or Florida..”

        As for my “Oh please” comment you will notice that our pilot did not deny one word of my “rant.” Just that I was emotionally invested in vaccines. People who spread his kind of tripe are killing others. He probably favors Ivermectin or injecting bleach.
        Enough said. These comments are enough for another post. Best from Florida


  6. toritto says:

    It ia your argument which is illogical. You are 11.3X more likely to die from covid than a vaccinated person. If don’t want to get the shot don’t get it. No skin off anyone’s nose but your own. I got mine; 170 million Americans got theirs already. And children aren’t approved yet. You are in the minority. Whistle with your friends. You’re “free.”


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