August 26, 2021

Alaska Woman Denied Life-Sustaining Care for Refusing COVID Vaccine

Courtney Chavez was released as a patient from her primary medical provider for her refusal to take a COVID-19 vaccine. Unless she can find another specialist willing to take her as a patient for her multiple rare conditions, she will lose access to life-sustaining treatments and prescriptions.

Chavez is an Alaska stay-at-home mother of two who has multiple autoimmune diseases, a blood clotting disorder, and a bleeding disease. Every month, she drove to Alaska Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in Anchorage from Wasilla to receive treatment. On August 17, she was unable to receive treatment because she had been dropped as a patient.

Chavez received a letter from her doctor's office on August 11 informing her that they would no longer provide her with care. It reads, in part,
“Your physician Dr. O’Fallon also feels that if you are so opposed to the vaccine and not willing to heed her medical recommendations that this is not a healthy working relationship and has released you as her patient. She will provide you with 1 month (from the above date) supply of your prescription medications that you receive from her while you find another provider.”
So far, she has been unable to find another specialist who can treat her disorders.

Regarding her treatments, Chavez said, “It is the only reason I am alive today, because the disease almost killed me. This is the only medication that my body has responded to.”

Chavez said that she is not normally hesitant about vaccines, but she was worried that she might suffer severe side-effects from COVID shots due to her blood clotting disorder and other conditions.

“My doctor knows I’m not anti-vaccine, but I’ve had multiple different medications that I have had different reactions to from mild to life threatening,” Chavez said.

“I just want to wait and see what the long-term studies find,” she said. “For those of us who struggle with medicines, it’s scary, especially having been through some of the stuff I’ve been through.”

The denial of medical care based on an individual's vaccine status is an unethical practice in the same vein as death panels and euthanasia. If a patient needs medical treatment, doctors should be willing to provide them with that treatment. Refusal to do so can cause great suffering and deny a patient's basic right to life. 

Pro-life advocates need to watch this trend and keep medical professionals accountable.