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A man has missed out on a life-saving heart transplant because he refuses to get the coronavirus vaccine.
After waiting years for a donor organ, DJ Ferguson finally received the news that he was at the front of the line to get a new ticker.
However, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston has a strict policy that requires all transplant patients to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The medical facility released a statement confirming the rule: "Like many other transplant programs in the United States - the COVID-19 vaccine is one of several vaccines and lifestyle behaviors required for transplant candidates in the Mass General Brigham system in order to create both the best chance for a successful operation and also the patient's survival after transplantation."
CBS News reports DJ has a baby on the way to join his other two children.
His family are concerned about his future because they're not sure what their options are.
They are appreciative of all the care DJ has received at Brigham and Women's Hospital so far, but the man's father, David, said he's within his rights to refuse to get vaccinated.
"I think my boy is fighting pretty damn courageously and he has integrity and principles he really believes in and that makes me respect him all the more," David Ferguson explained to CBS.
"It's his body. It's his choice."
David added: "It's kind of against his basic principles - he doesn't believe in it. It's a policy they are enforcing and so, because he won't get the shot, they took him off the list ([or] a heart transplant."
He said DJ is clearly willing to go to the brink of his health and life to keep his anti-vaccination stance.
However, Dr. Arthur Caplan said there is a very big reason why hospitals will insist on transplantation patients being vaccinated.
The head of medical ethics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine told CBS News: "Post any transplant, kidney, heart whatever, your immune system is shut off.
"The flu could kill you, a cold could kill you, COVID could kill you.
"The organs are scarce, we are not going to distribute them to someone who has a poor chance of living when others who are vaccinated have a better chance post-surgery of surviving."
CBS reports DJ's family is looking at potentially going to another hospital and trying their luck there, however he could be too weak to be transported.
They could also run into a very similar policy at loads of medial facilities as they protect their staff as well as the wellbeing of their patients.
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