Sen. Rand Paul Introduces Bill Protecting Rights Of Unvaccinated

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has presented new legislation to ensure publicly funded medical facilities are held accountable for withholding lifesaving care from unvaccinated patients. The proposed “COVID-19 Vaccination Non-Discrimination Act” would prevent government funds from going to hospitals that turn away patients because of their COVID-19 vaccination status. In addition, the act would protect patients’ freedom to choose their healthcare without consequences.

The proposed legislation is currently cosponsored by Sens. Mike Braun (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and J.D. Vance (R-OH).

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) has introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.

Paul argued that no American should be denied access to critical care based on a personal medical decision. He believes that, tragically, many hospitals and other medical facilities continue to discriminate against those who are unvaccinated for COVID-19. The proposed legislation would protect the rights of vulnerable patients to make their own healthcare choices and ensure that federal taxpayer dollars do not support facilities that turn away patients based on their COVID-19 vaccination status.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has advised physicians to continue treating patients regardless of their COVID-19 immunization status. Despite this, there have been cases across the country where healthcare providers who receive taxpayer funding have turned away unvaccinated patients. In one case, Duke University Hospital refused a kidney transplant to a 14-year-old girl who had recovered from a prior COVID-19 infection and had natural immunity, as her parents had chosen not to vaccinate her.

The proposed law would ensure that healthcare facilities that discriminate against patients based on their COVID-19 vaccination status are barred from receiving federal funds. The act would also protect vulnerable patients’ right to make their own private healthcare decisions without being penalized for making those decisions.

Paul said he believes that there is no place in the medical profession for discrimination. The law would help enshrine this basic principle in law and uphold the Hippocratic Oath, which demands that doctors care for their patients without prejudice and abstain from intentional wrongdoing or harm.

Duke Health officials said they would refrain from commenting on specific patient cases. Still, they expressed sympathy for all families dealing with a severe illness of a loved one. They added that the health system is committed to making organ transplants accessible to as many eligible patients as possible.

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised ethical concerns about allocating medical resources, and the proposed legislation aims to address discrimination against unvaccinated patients.