As Americans, we rely on doctors to treat and care for us when we are sick, regardless of our condition or how we got there. A family practice physician in South Miami will no longer see patients who did not receive their Covid-19 vaccine. Dr. Linda Marracini said, “ It’s not fair for people who are unvaccinated to harm other people.” Her new policy goes into effect on September 15.
Marracini stands firm that this decision does not violate her Hippocratic Oath, a set of ethical standards doctors promise to abide by. She says she will still offer telemedicine appointments and referrals to other doctors who will see patients regardless of their vaccination status. Marracini has said that she will continue to make exceptions for patients who cannot get the vaccine due to hardship or need prescriptions. Her office currently administers the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
According to Newsweek, Marraccini said, “ Responsibility has to do with each individual. This is a global health issue, and everyone owns part of that responsibility. The response has been ‘99.9 percent favorable.’ ”
In a letter she sent out to her patients, she stated, “This is a public health emergency — the health of the public takes priority over the rights of any given individual in this situation. It appears that there is a lack of selflessness and concern for the burden on the health and well-being of our society from our encounters.” She continued to let her patients know they had one month to get the vaccine or find another physician.
Governor Desantis signed a bill earlier in the year preventing vaccine passports. Starting September 16, any school, government entity, or business will be given a $5000 fine for asking for proof of vaccination. Christina Pushaw, Press Secretary for Governor DeSantis, told reporters a subsection of the statute grants health care providers like Marraccini an exception from facing the fine. Pushaw told The Washington Post, “Although it is a type of discrimination we don’t endorse or agree with, she is not breaking that law.”
Dr. Marracini is not the first doctor to refuse to see patients based on vaccine status. She joins Dr. Jason Valentine of Alabama, who will stop seeing unvaccinated patients beginning October 1.
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