In recent weeks there have been some discussions online about doctors and hospitals turning away unvaccinated Americans for COVID-19 treatment. In August, a physician in Alabama declared that he would not treat unvaccinated patients. Earlier this month, a primary care doctor in Florida announced that she would not see patients who are not vaccinated, and berated them for having a "lack of selflessness." However, one doctor in Canada is appalled at the idea of not providing medical treatment to those in need, and says everyone deserves medical attention no matter a person's vaccination status.
Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng is a critical care and palliative care physician at the Ottawa Hospital. Kyeremanteng went viral this week when he railed against the idea of not treating a person based on if they received the COVID-19 vaccine or not.
Regarding the policy of "limiting care to those who are unvaccinated," Kyeremanteng became incensed and said, "I hate it."
"I think it's wrong. I think it's creating mistrust. I think it's divisive," the doctor stated. "I think it's creating more tribalism and it, to me, is the last thing we need."
"We need to be clear in our messaging," he continued, and noted that the "magic" of the vaccines is that they can"prevent you from landing in hospital, and ICU, and dying."
Kyeremanteng slammed the medical community for putting "value judgments on people based on lifestyle decisions."
The doctor makes it known that he wants people to get vaccinated, but he lists other potentially dangerous behaviors such as smoking and IV drug use that can put people's health in jeopardy.
"When you come to my ICU, I treat you the same," Kyeremanteng proclaimed in the video posted to Twitter. "We hustle. We do what we can to serve and get you through your illness. And to think that we would do anything less because of your vaccine status is atrocious. It is absolutely atrocious."
"And it would be extremely shameful to even think that's a consideration within our society," said Kyeremanteng, who is also the host of the "Solving Healthcare" podcast. "Like, we're better than this. We are better than this."
He said not giving unvaccinated patients access to all the care that they need is "not right," and not why he "got into medicine."
Kyeremanteng understood why health care workers could be frustrated, but that is no reason to ever consider denying someone medical treatment for coronavirus if they are not vaccinated.
Kyeremanteng told Fox News that shaming people is the wrong approach, and now is the time "to be nice."
"The whole kind of shaming approach is, that's never been an effective way. We need to be compassionate, we need to listen to what the concerns are," he said. The doctor added that the messaging on the COVID-19 vaccine needs to "be more clear and focused."
Last week, President Joe Biden rolled out a vaccine mandate for 100 million Americans with a speech where he denigrated and placed blame on those who were not vaccinated.
"My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for?" Biden asked rhetorically. "What more do you need to see? We've made vaccinations free, safe and convenient. We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us."