October 15, 2021

 Cleveland Clinic Denies Life-saving Kidney Because Donor Unvaccinated

  • Flyover Country

By: Konrad Holden

In Brief: 
The Cleveland Clinic has indefinitely delayed a kidney transplant surgery because the donor is unvaccinated. An Ohio man, who has polycystic kidney disease, found out he needed a kidney transplant in 2020 and has been on the donor list since October 2020. After a year of waiting, a family friend was ready to give her kidney until the Clinic found out she was unvaccinated.

The Background: 
Many politicians in the US and across the globe have made one thing very clear: if you are not vaccinated, you will be shunned from society. 

That tactic is currently being tried in places like New York City with their “Key to NYC” proof of vaccination cards for bars, restaurants, and other businesses.

But it is also spreading to other places, such as the Cleveland Clinic’s operating room.

Mike Ganim, a 52-year-old Ohio man with polycystic kidney disease, was just days away from a kidney transplant, after waiting for months. But then, the Cleveland Clinic informed him he would no longer receive the kidney, due to the kidney’s donor being unvaccinated. 

Debi George, a family friend who agreed to donate the kidney, said, “They’re putting this vaccination ahead of saving somebody’s life. I’m willing to give a body part, a kidney to this man. And they are not going to do it because I’m not taking a shot. That makes no sense.”

George and Ganim are currently trying to figure out a way to have another hospital remove her kidney and transport it to the Cleveland Clinic for the transplant.

The Cleveland Clinic has responded to requests for comment with only a brief explanation of their new policy.

Notable Quotes: 

“I’m so afraid all over again. I mean we were crying and crying so many tears of joy and gratefulness over this happening, and now it’s the opposite. I’m just so afraid.” - Debi George, kidney donor

“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.” - Cleveland Clinic
 

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