Sheila Annette Lewis, a woman who was denied an organ transplant due to her Covid-19 vaccination status, tragically passed away on August 24. Sheila’s story highlights the devastating consequences of denying terminally ill patients access to lifesaving organ transplants based on their vaccination status.
In 2019, Sheila was diagnosed with a terminal condition and urgently needed an organ transplant to survive. She had been approved for the transplant in Canada and was next in line to receive the vital procedure. However, the situation changed when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and vaccine mandates were introduced.
Doctors began refusing treatment to patients who were not vaccinated against Covid-19, including Sheila. Despite diligently preparing for the transplant by undergoing all other required treatments, Sheila refused to take the Covid-19 vaccine. She had concerns about its safety, especially in light of the speedy development and her specific medical condition.
Soon after, a publication ban was put in place, concealing the identities of the doctors involved, the hospital in question, and the specific organ Sheila needed. This ban was a result of Sheila’s legal action against Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the doctors, in which the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms filed a charter rights violation challenge. The case eventually reached the Supreme Court, which dismissed Sheila’s appeal and awarded AHS the legal costs.
Meanwhile, Sheila and her family explored international options for a transplant, which would have required significant financial resources. Following the Supreme Court’s decision, Sheila enlisted the help of Umar Sheikh of Sheikh Law to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against AHS and the doctors. Eventually, a confidential agreement was reached between all parties, potentially including Sheila’s reinstatement on the transplant list or a financial settlement.
However, the agreement came too late for Sheila. Throughout her five-year battle with a terminal diagnosis, valuable time was wasted as AHS and the doctors took years to address her case. Ultimately, Sheila’s terminal condition took her life, leaving behind her devastated family.
This heartbreaking situation highlights the urgent need to reconsider denying organ transplants to individuals based on their vaccination status. To address this issue, a petition has been launched, calling for an end to vaccine coercion for organ transplant patients in Canada. The petition emphasizes that vaccination status should not be a death sentence and advocates for equal access to lifesaving treatments regardless of vaccination status.
The tragic story of Sheila Annette Lewis serves as a reminder of the importance of prioritizing medical needs over vaccination status and ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their vaccination choices, have equal opportunities for lifesaving treatments.