A Florida physician has announced that she would no longer serve primary care patients who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Florida Doctor Issues a Letter to Her Primary Patients
In a recently published article in USA Today, unvaccinated people will no longer be permitted to attend in-person visits at the office of Linda Marraccini, a family medicine doctor in South Miami, since the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for general use by the Food and Drug Administration.
Marraccini wrote in the letter, obtained by NBC Miami “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.”
The decision comes after an uptick in COVID-19 cases throughout the country, as well as the development of novel variants such as the highly transmissible delta variant. Florida has the second-highest 7-day rolling average of new cases of any state. Despite an 11 percent drop in the previous week, the state has the second-highest number of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19.
Doctor’s Mandate Will Take Effect on September 15
Marraccini’s policy is set to take effect on Sept. 15, but she will continue to see unvaccinated patients through video appointments if they have not found a new practice by that date, especially those who need prescriptions or have not got the vaccination owing to difficulties.
The letter also says that she would work with individuals who have a legitimate medical reason for not getting the vaccination, despite the fact that most medical experts believe such instances are rare, according to a published article in Newsweek.
While Marraccini informed a news source that the policy has received mostly favorable feedback, some online critics have accused her of breaking the Hippocratic oath, a code of ethics that many medical practitioners follow that focuses on treating any sick patient to the best of one’s abilities.
However, the pledge also stresses prevention, according to Marraccini. She said that she has patients who are immunocompromised or undergoing chemotherapy, and therefore have a greater chance of developing a severe or fatal case of COVID-19, thus minimizing their contact with uninfected individuals protects them.
Marraccini isn’t the first doctor to refuse to treat patients who haven’t been vaccinated. In a now-deleted Facebook post in August, Alabama physician Jason Valentine said that beginning of Oct. 1, he would not see anybody who had not been vaccinated.
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