Unvaccinated Boston man denied a heart transplant

Originally published at: Unvaccinated Boston man denied a heart transplant | Boing Boing


The same medical science system that allows us to transplant solid organs developed the covid vaccine. Cherry picking the one you like, well, because it can save your life, while attacking the other, which can also save your life (especially if you an organ transplant recipient) is just stupid. Let someone else get the heart. My empathy is used up.


Yeah, it’s pretty wild to think of the internal workings of a mind that thinks getting an injection of a vaccine is “against their principles,” but that getting pumped full of all the drugs required for such an operation and then getting someone else’s heart implanted into your body is somehow totally acceptable.


Well, he is willing to die for those principals, whatever the hell they might be.

The hospital is definitely measured in their policy. I am sure it is closer to, “Why bother? That heart will go to waste.”


Cherry picking A tune honored method of morality favored by many religious types.


It would be a shameful waste of the heart, but I wonder what he’d do if they offered the transplant anyway, but in keeping with his principles, he would not be given any foreign substances…


That is the logic for rejecting him as a candidate. He has shown he will not follow medical advice, makes him a very poor candidate.


Oh, I get that. A mean part of me enjoyed imagining him on the operating table, eyes wide as he realizes following “his principles” means there will be no anesthesia.


Look, if you GET a transplant, your body is more at risk for infections and illness, so post-transplant patients always get vaccinated for stuff like the flu as a matter of course.


“It gets the vaxx or it doesn’t gets the heart”


Maybe he should have been put onto the brain transplant list instead.



Makes perfect sense. Transplant patients are immuno suppressed and should be vaccinated when possible.

Fun fact - my cousin is the receiver of a heart transplant.


Does he even get how many different drugs he would be on post op?

Seriously deluded person doesn’t get that a heart transplant will require a lifetime of immunosuppressant drugs to keep his body from rejecting the donor heart as an infection. Covid would just straight up kill him. Even with the vaccine and booster it still might. Good grief.


No sympathy; someone else who will actually follow medical advice needs that heart more…


We are a bit worried for you and all the other medical personnel out there. I just read that one of BC’s health regions has 2,500 staff off sick. I’m guessing a mix of Covid and just fed up.

The human factor makes a ton of sense.

As for the immunology, that must be super-complex. I assume the strategy for using suppression drugs is to target specific foreign tissue much like the strategy for vaccines, and if so, they are compatible. Otherwise, if immune suppression is generalized, I can see the gears turning “Why get a vaccine only to be suppressed?”

BTW, I don’t think that. I’m just pointing out how Occam’s Razor might apply.


Every time one of these cases comes up the news media acts like it has never heard of this as a long standing policy for organ transplant. Instead they enjoy lighting throwing more fuel on a fire already burning out of control. This is dangerous and irresponsible.


It means he is off the list for a heart. Not that there was one waiting for him. There are plenty of non-plague spreading people on the heart donor list.


Most immune suppression would make it harder to mount an immune response to a new vaccine, but largely leave memory B cells alone, so responding to previously identified pathogens is hampered, but not nearly as much. Long story short, the immune system is a Rube Goldberg contraptions evolved over untold eons and unthinkably complex with feedback loops, inhibitors and activators, sufficient to have it’s very own specialty and still be largely mysterious. And I am just a old county pediatrician. If you want to dip your toes in, this is a decent primer:


The more people who are exposed to the information that you will be rejected for life-saving treatments if you reject other life-saving treatments, the better. This story is an important reminder that if you fuck around, you will very likely find out.


Thank you. I am a lapsed microbi grad. I “loved” immunology so much I took the intro course twice. Instead of cool coloured videos, we had drawings on cocktail napkins mimeographed into a text that was obsolete two years later. I wasn’t smart enough to realize that was how fast the field was moving.