This case is causing a stir. In Cyprus, in Israel, in the UK – and now also in Germany!
It’s about a three-year-old boy who was denied treatment in foreign hospitals – because his parents were not vaccinated. Here’s what “Politico” reports.
There is currently a debate over whether doctors have the right to reject young patients and deny them life-saving treatment if their parents are not vaccinated
So far, linemen in three countries have refused to treat the boy. He is currently in Greece awaiting surgery.
Baby taken to hospital in Cyprus with serious heart defect
A baby has been taken to hospital with a serious heart defect. As Cypriot hospitals were unable to perform the necessary surgery, the Health Ministry there arranged for an air ambulance to transport the boy to Germany last Thursday.
However, a day before the scheduled transport, a hospital in Frankfurt informed Cypriot authorities that the transport would not take place because the boy’s parents had not been vaccinated against coronavirus, according to Politico.
Cyprus suggested that the child could be accompanied by another caregiver instead of the parents, but that suggestion was rejected, they say.
German official explains
A German health ministry official told Politico that there is no provision saying hospitals cannot treat unvaccinated people, much less children whose parents have not been vaccinated. However, they stressed that each hospital can impose its own restrictions.
Cypriot authorities then tried to recruit specialist hospitals in the UK and Israel to carry out the operation, but were rejected for the same reason.
The child was flown to neighboring Greece on Saturday, according to the director general of Cyprus’ health ministry, Christina Yiannaki. He is to be operated on there in a private hospital by a team of specialists from Athens.
Parents oppose vaccination
The parents were vaccinated on Thursday but will have to wait another six weeks before they can be admitted by foreign clinics, he said.
The boy’s father, Alexey Matveev, a Russian citizen living in Cyprus, is outraged: “I know that unvaccinated patients are admitted to hospitals in Germany,” – said Matveev, a Russian citizen living in Cyprus. “I did not know that I had to be vaccinated in order for my child to be operated on in this hospital.”
In the interview, he portrays himself as anti-vaccine: “If I had known, of course I would have done it. I’m healthy and I didn’t want to be vaccinated. I think it is inappropriate for someone who is healthy to be vaccinated.”
The Cyprus Ministry of Health claims that parents were informed in advance about the need to vaccinate. It was even suggested to the parents that they receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in one dose to speed up the process. However, the parents did not agree to this.
Alexey Matveev has denied this. He says they have now received the Pfizer vaccine on the advice of the German medical center.
Last year, only a PCR test was required
The child had already undergone one operation last summer, but then only a PCR test was required for the parents to accompany him, according to Avraam Elia, head of the pediatric clinic at Makarios Hospital, where the child was hospitalized. Cypriot authorities said they had warned parents that the rules might change and that vaccinations might be required later.
The toddler’s case raises the ethical question of whether doctors can reject unvaccinated patients or, in this case, unvaccinated parents, Politico asks.
Recently, a hospital in Boston, USA, rejected a 31-year-old patient for a heart transplant because he was not vaccinated against coronavirus. The hospital explained that due to the shortage of available organs, everything must be done “so that the patient who receives the transplanted organ has the best possible chance of survival.”