Vital transplant denied to infant over vaccines
A six-month-old baby has been denied a life-saving heart transplant because he is not vaccinated.
August Stoll was born with complex congenital heart disease. Earlier this month, he underwent emergency surgery at the Vanderbilt Pediatric Heart Institute in Tennessee, but the operation failed, leading his team of cardiologists to conclude that the only way to save his life infant was a heart transplant.
But when they referred the baby to the hospital’s transplant team, its leader, David Bearl, told August’s parents, Hannah and Clint Stoll, that he would refuse to perform the transplant until that their son receives several childhood vaccines.
“It’s so illogical,” Hannah Stoll told The Epoch Times on June 24. “He’s an immunocompromised baby in critical condition and this doctor wants to pump him with vaccines… We know it will kill him.
The Tennessee couple, homeschooled with four other children, asked Bearl yesterday to reconsider, but Hannah said he refused. Stoll said her son was so fragile they couldn’t even consider moving him to another facility.
Republican Tennessee State Sen. Jack Johnson called Bearl’s decision “outrage” and told The Epoch Times he was in touch with Vanderbilt in hopes of bringing the heart institute Pediatrics, which is a division of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, to change positions.
“You shouldn’t deny life-saving treatment to a six-month-old baby based on a parent’s legitimate concern,” Johnson said, “As a parent, I would be beside myself.”
The Epoch Times reached out to Bearl and the hospital administration for comment on August’s case, but none responded. Bearl is listed with Vanderbilt as assistant professor and medical director of the ventricular assist device program.
According to the vaccine schedule that the Children’s Hospital immunology department provided to the Stolls, August would have to receive eight shots before the hospital would consider performing the heart transplant.
Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella, chickenpox, and hepatitis A are also highlighted on the schedule titled “Recommended Catch-up Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents”. However, the calendar specifically states that the minimum age for these vaccines is 12 months. August is only 6 months old.
The Stolls appealed their case to Vanderbilt’s ethics board in hopes of overriding Bearl’s position. They also launched an Instagram page called “fightforaugust” to raise awareness of their plight.
Johnson, who led legislation earlier this year barring hospitals from denying organ transplants to patients without COVID vaccines, also pointed out that there is no law in Tennessee that legally requires children to be vaccinated. in order to receive medical treatment. Along with identifying the vaccines he needs for August as “recommended,” Stoll said Bearl admitted to him that it was neither the law nor the policy for him to receive the vaccines. “He was like ‘that’s just how we do things here.'”
In addition to Johnson’s bill, several other states have proposed laws prohibiting hospitals from denying unvaccinated patients organ transplants.
In February, a group of Republican congressmen introduced federal legislation called the Stop Arduous Vaccine Enforcement (SAVE) Act in response to the practice.
The legislation is endorsed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Correction: A previous version of this article included the wrong name for State Senator Jack Johnson. The Epoch Times regrets the error.