The parents of a 14-year-old girl filed a lawsuit against Duke University Hospital on Dec. 12 for allegedly refusing to activate their daughter’s profile on its organ donor waitlist because her vaccination status was not up-to-date.
Christine “Chrissy” Hicks alleged the hospital waited until her teen daughter, Yulia Hicks, was in stage 5 kidney failure to inform the family she would remain inactive on the list unless she received the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the suit.
The hospital “knew or should have known” the family’s Catholic faith prevented Yulia from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine before it began treating her for kidney failure caused by Senior Løken Syndrome, according to the complaint. Duke University Hospital purportedly accepted thousands of dollars from the Hicks’ insurance company to treat Yulia before allegedly using her vaccination status to deny Yulia the necessary lifesaving care.
Duke medical professionals diagnosed Yulia with Senior Løken Syndrome when she was 11 years old, according to the complaint. Senior Løken Syndrome is a rare disorder that leads to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) requiring a kidney transplant, the document continued. After receiving treatment for two years and completing all applicable governmental requirements to be active on the transplant list, Duke University Hospital allegedly told the family Yulia would remain inactive on the hospital’s kidney donor waitlist until she was fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Daily Caller attempted to reach Duke University Hospital with multiple requests for clarity over matters in the complaint, including the hospital’s COVID-19 vaccination policy for surgeries, as well as allegations it performed transplant surgeries on unvaccinated patients while denying Yulia based on her vaccination status. Duke University Hospital has not yet responded to the Caller’s requests.
“From the beginning of receiving care at Duke, they knew we were a Catholic family and against this vaccine. Duke has received a substantial amount of money from our insurance company only to pull the rug out from under us at the last minute,” Hicks told the Daily Caller in a statement. “We know for a fact that they performed a kidney transplant on a patient who was unvaccinated against COVID in October. Now they are withholding lifesaving care from our daughter to push their political agenda. We are heartbroken that our daughter, who has already suffered so much, will continue to suffer because of Duke’s denial of care. ”
While the hospital allegedly denied Yulia active status on the waitlist, medical staff previously performed transplant surgeries on unvaccinated, non-Catholic patients, according to the complaint. (RELATED: Report: Hospital Denied Operation To Female Sex Abuse Victim Who Requested Biologically Female Nurses)
“The only difference between the other unvaccinated patients for whom Duke performed transplant surgeries and Y.H. [Yulia Hicks] is that the unvaccinated transplant patients who did operate on [sic] were not Catholic, whereas here, Y.H. and every member of her entire family is Catholic,” according to the complaint.
The family alleged that because of their Catholic faith, the hospital blocked potential organ donors from testing their compatibility with Yulia, “despite the potential organ donors’ willingness and desire to donate their organ to Y.H. if they were compatible.”
A kidney specialist at Duke University Hospital allegedly told the family, “I can’t require you to do anything. I can recommend these things,” according to an audio recording Christine shared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“But, if you don’t follow our recommendations, then Yulia can’t be a transplant candidate here, based on our criteria number five, which is persistent non-adherence with medication dialysis treatment, our medical recommendations. And also based on number 10, which would be medical risk factors that make transplant surgery unsafe.”
Watch the full clip here:
One of the Hicks’ lawyers, Michael Yoder, told the Daily Caller the hospital “violated federal law” when it allegedly denied Yulia “well-established protections against religious discrimination in place of public accommodation.” Yoder said the hospital was “act[ing] in a manner better attributed to its mascot than a group of licensed physicians.”
“There is perhaps no course of conduct more repulsive than a healthcare institution’s prioritization of a nihilistic, political narrative that demands absolute vaccination compliance without exception over fulfilling its ethical and legal obligation to render lifesaving care to a dying child,” Yoder continued.
“I look forward to holding Duke accountable, ensuring Yulia obtains the lifesaving treatment she needs, and putting an end to this once-reputable institution’s affinity for this wicked agenda,” he added.
The complaint is requesting temporary and permanent injunctive relief to stop the Duke University Health System from allegedly preventing Yulia from being active on the kidney transplant waitlist, or any other way of possibly delaying her from receiving the transplant surgery. The family is also searching for at least $5 million in compensatory damages for alleged emotional distress and an additional amount of punitive damages to be determined at the trial.