May 13, 2022

Puppies are better than kidney transplants

 

We are living in a world that is full of health risks. One of the most shocking recent news stories to come out was UCHealth denying kidney transplant to an unvaccinated woman who had stage 5 renal failure, because she refused to be vaccinated. This story has gone viral and sparked various opinions on social media platforms. One prevailing opinion is that withholding life-saving treatment from patients because they refuse to take dangerous vaccine injections is wrong. I agree with this perspective, and I also think the story of Ria Peralta has gone largely unreported, so let’s consider why there might be more than meets the eye behind the decision of UCHealth hospital not to treat her.

The first thing to note is that UCHealth did not mention vaccines in their official statement . The reason of denying her transplant was because Ms. Peralta’s chronic kidney disease had worsened, requiring dialysis which she refused to start before the transplant. So why are they claiming that her reason for refusal precludes treatment?

As I listened to the podcast, The Truth About Vaccines with Greg Beattie, this whole denial story came clear to me.

Ms. Peralta claims that she is not against vaccines and never refused treatment because of her anti-vaccine stance. However, UCHealth has stated they are not treating Ms. Peralta because she refused to start [the] recommended dialysis.This is a contraindication for transplant per our policy, stated the hospital in their official statement . In other words, UCHealth claims that they cannot treat her because she refused dialysis. They did not mention anything about vaccines in their official statement .

Why would anyone refuse dialysis, a life-saving medical treatment? The reasons are many. In her interview for the podcast The Truth About Vaccines with Greg Beattie Ms. Peralta describes how she first refused to go on dialysis because of fear it would make her weak and also cause intense pain. She should have been told that there are different forms of dialysis, some more invasive than others. The type her doctors recommended is called hemo-dialysis and it uses a machine to filter the blood . In this case, there’s no need for needles to be stuck in the veins. However, Ms. Peralta also stated that since she was not in pain at the moment and wasn’t feeling weak, she would start the treatment after her transplant. When you research on the Internet, you will find that there are other forms of dialysis that do not require needles to be stuck in your veins, such as peritoneal dialysis, home nocturnal hemo-dialysis (HND), intermittent hemo-dialysis, automated peritoneal dialysis (APD), arterio-venous hemo-dialysis, and veno-venous haemo-dialysis. That means that UCHealth could have tried to convince her to start with one of these types instead of immediately subjecting her to the needle treatment she was afraid of .

It is also possible that UCHealth doctors were aware of the fact that Ms. Peralta was afraid and tried to convince her otherwise, but it didn’t work .

The official statement from UCHealth continues: As a federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO), we partner with donors and their families to facilitate and coordinate organ donations in accordance with the agreement we have established with those donors. Ms. Peralta was identified as a potential donor and her transplant application was reviewed by our transplant team.

What does this mean? It means that if she had accepted to start hemo-dialysis and wait for a kidney transplant, there is no guarantee that UCHealth would have given her one. I think it’s fair to assume that UCHealth doctors knew this, because it is possible they are not very experienced in transplant medicine.

One of the most interesting facts about this story is that Ms. Peralta was actually in a hospital when they discovered she could be a transplant candidate. She was taken to the emergency room with symptoms and there it was determined that her misery was due to chronic kidney failure caused by lupus . The doctors at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver were ready to treat her with dialysis, but she refused. Maybe because they were not transplant-capable?

 

By the time Ms. Peralta was transferred to UCHealth at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver, the doctors there did not try to persuade her to start hemo-dialysis before opting for a transplant . It is possible they have less experience in transplant medicine, but maybe they knew there were other forms of dialysis out there. Maybe they tried to convince her to use one of them, but it didn’t work either.