ontario vaccination

Toronto woman says she was refused medical treatment because she is unvaccinated

A Toronto woman says an appointment for a medical treatment was abruptly cancelled after staff learned she isn't vaccinated.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, says she is chronically ill with a genetic syndrome and has declined to get vaccinated over concerns for her health.

"All my life, I caught everything, I react to everything," she tells blogTO. "My body is hypersensitive to life."

Although doctors have advised her to get the vaccine, she says issues with her heart and blood pressure make it too much of a risk.

"I've come down with a bunch of chronic illnesses, all of which, most of the time, I have to spell for doctors they are so rare and explain what they are."

So when she filled out a form online in preparation for a health treatment on Sept. 30 at Women's College Hospital, she stated that she wasn't vaccinated. She got a message to confirm this was the case and when she did, her appointment was cancelled on Sept. 27 and a staff member said the practitioner was not comfortable treating her unvaccinated.

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The woman sent blogTO part of the conversation she had online with the staff. Names and treatment information have been removed.

Women's College Hospital did not immediately get back to blogTO for more information on the COVID-19 policies but sent a statement on Oct. 4.

"Women's College Hospitals is committed to providing care to all patients, regardless of whether they have or have not received the COVID-19 vaccine," the statement reads. 

"We do not deny care based on a patient's vaccination status. Due to patient privacy we cannot comment on the statements provided by the individual in the article. However, we take all concerns seriously and are reviewing this matter internally."

This situation has come up in other places — in BC a teen with a sore wrist was turned away from a walk-in clinic because he wasn't vaccinated and told to seek care at the emergency room instead.

Medical professionals are balancing the right to health care and other patients' and healthcare workers' rights to be protected from an unvaccinated person, University of B.C. Prof. Dr. Michael Curry told the Vancouver Sun.

But Dr. Stephen Hoption Cann, a professor at UBC’s School of Population & Public Health, says in the case of the walk-in clinic, the physician should have provided care if the physician and his staff were fully vaccinated.

The woman in this Toronto case says she has no plans to get vaccinated but she doesn't align herself with people who are protesting vaccine passports, lockdowns or wearing masks.

"I wear a mask everywhere I go," she says.

She generally stays at home so has no problem with lockdowns either.

"I have I have a compromised immune system so I don't want to be out in publicly crowded places to begin with."

As for next steps, she has made a complaint to the College of Nurses of Ontario about the incident and says she won't be returning to this practitioner for treatment.

A statement from Women's College Hospital was added to this story on Oct. 4.

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