September 26, 2023

Sheila Annette Lewis refused the COVID-19 vaccine, and was denied a lifesaving organ transplant.

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Sheila Annette Lewis, the Alberta girl who was denied an organ transplant as a result of she refused to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine, has died.

In current months, Lewis had been crowdsourcing funding to journey to the US to get an organ transplant, however she died earlier than that occurred, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) announced on X, previously referred to as Twitter.

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She was 58.

“I’ve received quite a bit to stay for,” Lewis instructed BridgeCityNews in November 2022. “I’ve grandchildren, I’ve kids. Like, they’re grown males, however they’re my children.”

In 2018, Lewis was recognized with a terminal sickness and was positioned on the Alberta transplant wait checklist. (The organ in query is redacted from court docket paperwork and topic to a publication ban.) As she awaited the transplant, Lewis up to date quite a few her childhood vaccinations, as a pre-requisite for receiving an organ transplant.

In 2021, Lewis was instructed she would additionally want the COVID-19 vaccine to obtain the transplant. Given the excessive dangers of demise following a transplant, and the immunosuppressed situation of transplant sufferers, the COVID-19 vaccine was thought of essential. She refused, and sued Alberta Well being Companies.

“Taking this vaccine offends my conscience. I must have the selection about what goes into my physique, and a lifesaving remedy can’t be denied to me as a result of I selected to not take an experimental remedy for a situation — COVID-19 — which I do not need and which I could by no means have,” Lewis stated in an affidavit.

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Alison Pejovic, her lawyer, instructed the Nationwide Publish on Friday that Lewis “had a powerful sense of what she perceived to be proper and mistaken, a powerful ethical compass, and he or she by no means stopped preventing for what she perceived to be justice.”

“She’s in any distinctive scenario the place her option to not adjust to a mandate was going to lead to a lack of her life and he or she was prepared to face that for what she believed in,” Pejovic stated.

She misplaced her battle to have the courts order the medical system to present her a transplant.

The Alberta Courtroom of King’s Bench stated that if it did so, there can be “vital opposed public coverage implications.

“The proposition that Treating Physicians exercising medical judgment can be topic to the Constitution would lead to medical chaos with sufferers in search of infinite judicial evaluate of medical remedy choices.”

Lewis appealed, however the Alberta Courtroom of Enchantment dominated towards her.

“Whereas Ms Lewis has the appropriate to refuse to be vaccinated towards COVID-19, the Constitution can’t remediate the implications of her selection,” the court docket concluded.

Lewis fought all the way in which to the Supreme Courtroom of Canada, which declined to listen to her case. JCCF, a libertarian authorized group that fought towards quite a few public-health measures and ensuing prices in court docket, had argued that Lewis had pure immunity from a previous COVID-19 an infection in letters written to Alberta Well being Companies.

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“If Ms. Lewis doesn’t get her transplant, she is not going to survive, and her household will lose years of time with their mom, spouse, and grandmother,” her Justice Centre lawyer wrote.

The case caught the eye of Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, who stated she wished a “second medical opinion” within the case, in an uncommon transfer of a politician weighing in on a case of particular person medical remedy.

After shedding within the courts, Lewis turned her consideration to elevating funds to get an organ transplant in the US. Her web page on GiveSendGo, a fundraising web site, says that she had discovered a hospital within the U.S. that may do an organ transplant absent the COVID-19 vaccine. Her web page had obtained $124,776 as of Friday.

“She actually wished to be round a very long time to see her grandchildren develop. And so most individuals noticed the aspect of Sheila that was very sturdy in interviews, however she additionally had a heat, tender coronary heart and was a form particular person and so this information is devastating for her household, particularly, but additionally for many who are cheering for her,” Pejovic stated.

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