Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that his state would not require patients to get vaccines to get organ transplants.
Abbott announced the state would welcome the unvaccinated to come there and receive life-saving organ transplants, an offer that arose out of concerns that some state medical systems may deny organ transplant requests based on vaccination status.
"Democrats have gone too far with their vaccine mandates," Abbott's office said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. "First, they were endangering people's livelihoods. Now, they're endangering people's lives. Here in Texas, vaccines remain voluntary and never forced. Anyone being denied critical, life-saving organ transplants is welcome here in Texas, where one's rights and freedoms are always protected."
A person's status as vaccinated is a requirement for the hospital's organ transplant patients "in almost all situations," UCHealth spokesman Dan Weaver said without reference to any particular patient. Weaver noted organ transplants are often required to get vaccines for various illnesses, such as hepatitis B and MMR, comparing the requirement to a doctor requesting that a patient not consume alcohol or smoke before surgery.
Weaver also said transplant patients who are not vaccinated are at risk of a higher mortality rate, between 20% and 30%.
Abbott's decision was supported by GOP state lawmakers, with Texas state Rep. Briscoe Caine telling Fox News he was happy state hospitals had "chosen to put patients before politics."
Representatives for UCHealth did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.
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Original Author: Christopher Hutton
Original Location: Texas to accept unvaccinated patients for organ transplants