A Florida doctor has stirred controversy after telling her patients they are no longer welcome in her office if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine for most reasons.
In an interview with Miami-based NBC 6, Dr. Linda Marraccini said she won’t allow unvaccinated people into her office because she says they are a risk to her patients who are immuno-compromised.
“I understand that people are free to choose, but to me, it’s a problem when it affects other people,” Marraccini told local NBC6 in South Florida.
She went on to say that her decision was based on the emergence and spread of the newer delta variant of the novel coronavirus.
“When it comes to the safety of others, when it comes to the fact that it’s a global health problem and community health problem, at this point, I really say that this is where it draws the line in the sand for me,” Marraccini told the outlet.
In a separate interview with Newsweek, Marraccini added, “It’s not fair for people who are unvaccinated to harm other people.”
Marraccini, a family practice doctor, said she sent a letter to all her patients informing them of her decision and that they would no longer be able to see her in the office after Sept. 15, the local outlet reported. She also claimed that her decision was scientific in nature and had nothing to do with politics — she just wants to protect her staff and her other patients.
“There’s been millions of deaths globally so that’s not something to ignore. People are getting to the point where everybody knows somebody that died from COVID,” she said. “This is a problem that really everyone needs to help out with and it’s affecting our collective communal health.”
Marraccini went on to claim that her stance is not a violation of her Hippocratic Oath, a set of medical ethical standards that doctors take regarding care for their patients, because she is providing the unvaccinated with the option of using telemedicine or through referrals to other physicians, reports noted.
She added, however, that she will make exceptions for patients who are not able to get a vaccine for other health-related reasons, noting further that only about 10-15 percent of her current patients have yet to get the jab.
“The Hippocratic Oath is very science-based. I am following the science. I’m applying this to the benefit of the sick,” she told Newsweek.
“Responsibility has to do with each individual. This is a global health issue, and everyone owns part of that responsibility,” she added.
Marraccini is not the first physician to shut out unvaccinated patients. Dr. Jason Valentine, who practices at Mobile’s Diagnostic and Medical Clinic Infirmary Health, took to Facebook recently with a picture of him pointing to a sign that reads come Oct. 1, he also won’t see any patients who have refused the vaccine.
“If they asked why, I told them COVID is a miserable way to die and I can’t watch them die like that,” Valentine noted in the post, which has since been made private after it went viral.
“Unfortunately, many have declined to take the vaccine, and some end up severely ill or dead. I cannot and will not force anyone to take the vaccine, but I also cannot continue to watch my patients suffer and die from an eminently preventable disease,” he said.
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