Charter not violated in denying transplant to patient who refused COVID-19 vaccine, court rules – CBC

Woman was diagnosed in 2018 with a chronic, progressive disease

Jul 12, 2022

It’s not unconstitutional to refuse an organ transplant to a woman who refuses to get the COVID-19 vaccine, an Edmonton judge has ruled.

Annette Lewis went to court seeking to preserve her spot on an Edmonton-based transplant program’s wait-list after doctors told her she would not be eligible because she is not immunized against COVID-19.

In a decision filed Tuesday, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Paul Belzil dismissed Lewis’s argument that her charter rights had been violated.

He ruled the charter has no application to clinical treatment decisions and, in particular, has no application to doctors establishing criteria for organ transplantation. There is a publication ban on identifying the specific organ.

Lewis was diagnosed in 2018 with a chronic, progressive disease with no cure.

Doctors told her a transplant was her only hope of survival. After extensive testing, Lewis was deemed healthy enough to qualify for a transplant, according to details in Belzil’s decision.

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