An Alabama doctor said he will no longer see his unvaccinated patients as a way to motivate them to get the COVID-19 vaccine, AL.com reported.
The doctor — Jason Valentine, of Diagnostic and Medical Clinic Infirmary Health in Mobile, Alabama — put a note on his door for patients about whether or not he would see them.
- “Effective Oct. 1, 2021, Dr. Valentine will no longer see patients that are not vaccinated against COVID-19,” the sign read, per The Hill.
Valentine said in a Facebook post that his decision led to three patients getting the COVID-19 vaccine, according to The Hill.
- “No conspiracy theories, no excuses. Just where do I go,” Valentine wrote. “If they asked why, I told them COVID-19 is a miserable way to die and I can’t watch them die like that.”
Valentine told AL.com that he made the decision because he didn’t want to see his patients suffer from not getting the vaccine.
- “We do not yet have any great treatments for severe disease, but we do have great prevention with vaccines,” Valentine told AL.com. “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.”
Alabama has the lowest vaccination rate in the country, according to data from the Mayo Clinic, which is one reason why the virus has spread so far and cases are rising.
In July, Dr. Brytney Cobia, a physician at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, saw similar instances where unvaccinated people were dying from COVID-19 in her hospital. She decided to speak out about her patients because so many of them would die from the novel coronavirus, despite a vaccine being readily available. Her dying patients, she said, would often ask her for the vaccine.
“I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late,” she wrote in a recent Facebook post.