On the one hand, the version of the patient, who denounces having been included in the list of transplants because he did not undergo vaccination against Covid; on the other, that of the healthcare company, the Pulmonology Operating Unit of the University of Padua which denies any discrimination on the basis of an ideology and instead makes it a medical question. A complex, delicate case.
He, Gianni Tollardo, 56, has been suffering from bronchiolocentric interstitial fibrosis since 2015, a disease that has worsened over the years to the point that today he needs oxygen 24 hours a day. In 2019, given the worsening of his condition, the 56-year-old was proposed to try the path of lung transplantation, a possibility that initially left the patient skeptical. “I’ve always been fine, talking about surgery scared me” the 56-year-old told the broadcaster ‘Byoblu, the citizens’ TV’ which was the first to tell his story. But then “over the years they convinced me and I realized that I was in a suitable center”.
When Tollardo decides that there is no other way, the pandemic breaks out. He does not want to know about getting vaccinated. “It’s not that I was worried, I inquired,” he says. “It’s an experimental vaccine and I’m not a guinea pig. I can be a guinea pig if they ask me, but not if I’m forced to. I’m not a doctor, but I’m not a moron.”
Despite the profound aversion to the Covid vaccine, the 56-year-old rejects the no vax label. And indeed he remarks: “I also had all the vaccines, even the military one and the anti-flu”. In any case, the lack of vaccination would be at the basis of the exclusion of Tollardo from the lists for transplantation. The 56-year-old said he had received the news from the doctor who had followed him for years: “she told me that the hospital could not take the responsibility of giving me the surgery”.
Before that the man had undergone a series of tests necessary to determine if he was suitable. In the letter with which he was discharged from the hospital, also published by ‘Byoblu’, we read that no “major contraindications emerged” but it is also highlighted that the man had “paranoid traits related to the covid vaccination, which, although circumscribed could influence the transplant process in a perspective of acceptance and adaptation to the organ received “. And so in the end Tollardo was not put on the lists for the operation.
The hospital’s explanation: “No ideological motivation”
After the ‘Byoblu’ investigation, the case caused a fuss. The Padua hospital company replied to the controversy thus: “As represented several times to the patient by Prof. Federico Rea, director of the Company’s Thoracic Surgery, ‘there is no’ ideological motivation ‘(as incorrectly reported in the articles ) behind the choice not to proceed at the time of the facts with the immediate inclusion in the transplant list of the patient involved in the case (…) “.
From the hospital they point out that the transplant list is made up “in Italy of over 350 patients a year, of which fewer than 150 see satisfied the possibility of completing the transplant, due to a clear lack of organs and donors sufficient to meet their needs” and that the choice of the commission had the “duty to guarantee that the scarce organs available can find the recipients who, due to the characteristics of urgency and expected outcome, can avoid the dispersion of such precious resources”.
As for the choice not to get vaccinated, the doctors assure that there has been no ideological prejudice towards Mr. Tollardo: “The patient’s failure to adhere to the Covid-19 vaccination – it reads again -, as well as the initial claim to receive an organ only from an unvaccinated donor, therefore little or no connection has therefore been made with the choices correctly made by Prof. Rea and by the evaluating doctors, who have taken into consideration much wider factors, among which correct adherence is not secondary and completion of drug therapies and others “.
From the hospital they then point out that “these unvaccinated patients have currently been transplanted: 4 patients with kidney transplant, 3 patients with lung transplant (intervention similar to that required by the patient covered by the articles, 1 liver transplant, 1 heart “. In short, no foreclosure towards unvaccinated subjects. The choice of hospital would have been determined by other factors, including” the correct adherence and completion of drug therapies “.
In a letter sent by the hospital to the patient, the doctors then explain that the “behavior not adhering to medical recommendations” could occur “even for essential future medical prescriptions (for example immunosuppressive therapy)”. In this case “the survival of the patient and of the organ would be jeopardized in the event of transplantation due to otherwise avoidable infectious complications”. A thesis that Tollardo disputes: the man claims to have always respected the prescriptions of doctors to the point of taking an experimental drug for the treatment of his disease. But he really doesn’t want to know about the Covid vaccine.
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