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Alberta

Patient threatened with withdrawal of life-saving surgery unless she gets Covid shot

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This article is from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.  The Justice Centre respectfully asks that you consider sharing this story to help bring attention to the dilemma facing this terminally ill Albertan.

EDMONTON:  The University of Alberta Hospital has threatened to take a terminally ill 56-year-old woman off of a donor list for a lung transplant because she has chosen not to receive the new Covid-19 vaccine. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms represents Annette Lewis, who has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal condition affecting both of her lungs. Ms. Lewis has been suffering with the illness for over two and a half years and waiting for a transplant for over one year. Just two months ago, her lung capacity was at just 40%. Without this transplant, Ms. Lewis will die.

Ms. Lewis provided the Justice Centre with an extended recording (condensed here to include only the discussion about the vaccine) in which a member of the lung transplant team told Ms. Lewis she will be removed from the transplant list if she refuses the shot. (Her oxygen machine which helps her to breathe can be heard in the background.) Below are excerpts from her conversation with the doctor (at minutes 10:15-11:23):

Doctor: “All of our pre-transplant patients are going to be required to have the Covid vaccine.”

Annette: “…if I don’t take the vaccine then I go off the donor list, is that what you mean?”

Doctor: “Yeah.”

Annette: “…wow…that’s pretty scary.”

Doctor: “Yeah.”

Annette: “If I don’t get the vaccine, I’m not going to get the transplant, and we all know what the end result of that is for me.”

Doctor: “Yeah.”

Annette: “It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t in my case.”

Doctor: “Yes.”

Ms. Lewis shared her concerns with the transplant team that, while she has received all other childhood vaccinations again, as per the Lung Transplant Program team’s request, she does not want to receive the experimental Covid vaccine at this time. She does not wish to participate in a new experimental treatment, which is known to have sometimes serious side effects, including permanent disability and death.

Ms. Lewis outlined a number of considerations in her decision to forego receiving the Covid vaccine at this time including:

  1. The vaccines have not been fully authorized by Health Canada. They are being used under “Interim Authorization” in Canada, with human clinical trials continuing until 2023.
  2. Covid vaccines have caused notable side effects, including nearly 7,000 reported deaths between December 2020 and June 2021, according to the US Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).
  3. Health Canada has placed warning labels on the Covid vaccines for adverse events such as blood clotting, myocarditis, pericarditis, and Bell’s Palsy.
  4. Finally, informed consent is the standard for all medical interventions. The FDA factsheet for the healthcare provider reads, “The recipient or their caregiver has the option to accept or refuse (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine.”

Ms. Lewis notes that the Nuremburg Code, which was enacted after WWII following coercive and forced experimentation on captives by German military officials, requires patients to be able to “exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force.”

In a follow up letter dated August 9, 2021, the Hospital advised Ms. Lewis she will not get her transplant without the vaccine. That information was confirmed again in a subsequent telephone conversation that Ms. Lewis had with a member of the Lung Transplant Program team on September 2, 2021, wherein Ms. Lewis was told that she is “number two” on the donor recipient list, but would need to get the Covid-19 vaccines in order to get her transplant.

On September 2, 2021, the Justice Centre wrote a legal demand letter to Dr. Rhea Varughese, Assistant Professor at the Lung Transplant Program at the University of Alberta, regarding the program’s decision to require all patients waiting for a double-lung transplant to submit to the Covid vaccine.

The Justice Centre has demanded that the Lung Transplant Program team at the University of Alberta Hospital provide confirmation within seven days that Ms. Lewis is exempt from any requirement for a Covid-19 vaccine and will remain on the double lung transplant list.

“The hospital’s conduct in making an ultimatum of this nature to a terminally ill patient is coercive and unethical. Threatening a patient’s access to life-saving medical treatment for not participating in an experimental treatment for a condition she does not have and may never get is a profound violation of Ms. Lewis’ human dignity, personal autonomy, and her constitutionally protected right to life, liberty and security of the person,” says Allison Pejovic, a Justice Centre Staff Lawyer.

“If Ms. Lewis is removed from the transplant list she will die. This is a gross violation of her freedom of choice. Having to choose between taking an experimental vaccine that she does not want, or certain death, is not a choice,” Ms. Pejovic concludes.

Alberta

Fully vaccinated with negative tests in hand, Calgary mom and daughters forced into quarantine on return to Canada

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This article consists of the facebook posts of Calgary mother Tiffany Gaura.  Tiffany and her two daughters happened to be travelling home from a visit with her husband who is working in Cairo, when the Canadian government announced strict travel restrictions against those traveling from ‘some’ countries where the new Omicron virus has been found.  Gaura has given us permission to use her posts in this article and has filled in a few small gaps for us.  She’s hoping Canadian officials will show more flexibility, especially considering they’ve established restrictions on travellers coming from only a select few of the countries where Omicron has turned up.  Gaura is especially frustrated since Omicron is already in Canada and travellers from Europe and the United States are not quarantined on arrival. 

Day 1 –  Dec 4, 6:37 PM – Shock and Awe

This is a tough post for me. Today we traveled back to Canada from Cairo. We came early to complete the new quarantine requirement given Egypt has been listed as a “Country of Concern”. I am FULLY VACCINATED. We had PCR tests in Cairo and Frankfurt. We have an empty home to go to here in Calgary.
Upon arrival in YYC, we were taken by CBSA (Canadian Border Services) to PHAC (Public Health Canada) screening. It was a 15 minute interrogation about my history with Covid (none), my plans in Canada and my testing and vaccination. They read me my rights and told me I was entitled to a lawyer. They told me the fine for breaking quarantine is up to $750,000. We had a dedicated escort throughout, ensuring we weren’t escaping. Secondary unexplained screening at customs, and a PCR on arrival. We weren’t allowed to make any stops or get anything to eat or drink. The whole process took about 2 hours.
We were transported in a dedicated vehicle to the Westin Airport Hotel in Calgary. The Government of Canada as contracted the entire hotel as a “secure quarantine location”. The parking lot is blocked with No Trespassing signs. We were met by the Red Cross of Canada employees in HazMat suits.
We were processed and taken to an isolation floor. We cannot go outside. We cannot leave our room. We cannot get deliveries or packages. We cannot consume anything from offsite. We only get the meals they send us (it’s now 6:30pm and we have not had anything to eat or drink since we landed at 3pm). They have no cups for water in the room. I requested some but to no avail. Once we get our test results (presumably negative, and can take up to 72 hours) we must contact the Red Cross who will coordinate with Quarantine Officers for our release, that can take 48 hours (they say). They will provide us dedicated transport to our quarantine location (our home) where we must complete our 14 days in isolation. We must also take another test on Day 8.
This is happening, right now, in Canada, two years into a pandemic to vaccinated individuals. I don’t have the words to express this well. I waver back and forth between rage, embarrassment and disbelief. This will change my life, I have no doubt.

Day 2 – Dec 5, 11:17 AM = Frustration sets in

Next time you think about making a donation to the Canadian Red Cross, keep in mind that your donation dollars are going to things like supervising fully vaccinated travellers in mandatory government quarantine facilities. I’m sure there are other organizations that could use your money.

Day 3.- Dec 6. 11:22 AM = Canadian Quarantine for Fully Vaccinated Travelers With Negative Covid Tests

– We still have no PCR results, because apparently in Canada it takes 72 hours to get results in 2021. Or maybe they just want us to stay here longer. 🤔
– The food is horrible. It arrives cold and has limited nutritional value. It’s not FoodSafe for sure. I may call public health.
– No fruits or vegetables (aside from potatoes). No beverages are offered, so it’s tap water for the win. No wait, I did get some coffee filters and packaged creamer. It’s gross.
– The hotel gives a number for people to call so they can speak to us BUT they won’t actually put any calls through to our room. When you call they just say they will pass the message on to the Red Cross who will send us the message
– The kids are going stir crazy. No fresh air, no physical activity. We are doing yoga and school work, I brought a few card games, but that can only fill so many hours of the day with no space or freedom to roam.
– We have only one bed in the hotel room so we all sleep together.
– I asked for tampons, it took 24 hours to receive them.
– We have a window to nothing. Can’t see the parking lot or any coming and goings from the site. I wonder if they give rooms that have a view to that.
This interview was conducted by the CBC while Tiffany and her children were still in quarantine. 

Day 4 – Dec 7 – Third Negative Test Results Finally Come After More Than 3 Days.

4 days in quarantine.   We left when we got our results. I made a choice to leave after I was unable to contact anyone at either PHAC or the Red Cross who could give us any information about being released by a quarantine office.

This interview was conducted by the CTV in the hours after Tiffany and her children returned home after 4 days in quarantine.

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Alberta

Politicians raise concerns about carbon pricing benefits given to oilsands companies

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EDMONTON — Federal and provincial politicians are raising questions about Alberta government support provided to profitable oilsands companies that say carbon pricing hurts their competitiveness.

A recently released Alberta government document lists oilsands producers that have benefitted from a 2018 program designed to soften the blow of carbon pricing for companies whose competitors don’t pay those costs.

The program allows successful applicants to meet reduction targets through a greater emphasis on offsets, apply for emissions reduction grants or simply emit more carbon.

The document shows the only company that has benefitted from the program every year between 2018 and 2020 is Canadian Natural Resources Limited, which declared more than $2 billion in profits in the third quarter of 2021.

Alberta New Democrat environment critic Marlin Schmidt says the province must be more transparent, pointing out the document doesn’t say what benefits CNRL received, how big they were or how they were justified.

Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says his office is looking into how the program was used.

He says if problems are found, it could have an effect on the agreement between Alberta and Ottawa on carbon pricing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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