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April 13, 2023
A South Florida doctor became the second physician to make the contentious decision to refuse treatment to unvaccinated patients in a COVID-ravaged state.
Lina Marraccini, a primary care doctor in South Miami, chastised patients for a “lack of selflessness” in a letter that claimed the unvaccinated pose too great a risk to her staff. “This is a public health emergency — the health of the public takes priority over the rights of any given individual in this situation,” said Marraccini wrote in the letter, obtained by NBC 6. “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.”
Marraccini asked patients to confirm if there was a valid reason why they hadn’t at least had their first shot. She gave them a deadline of September 15th to have this done. “If any of our patients have a valid medical reason for not having the vaccine or have their first shot by September 15, please let us know,” she wrote.
Patients will have one month to find another provider if they desire, during which she said her office will continue to provide virtual appointments for unvaccinated patients. While Marraccini told Newsweek the response to the policy has been largely positive, some backlash online has accused her of violating the Hippocratic oath, a pledge of ethics that many medical professionals uphold which largely centers treating any ill patient to the best of one’s ability.
However, Marraccini told Newsweek that the oath also emphasizes prevention. She said she has patients who are immunocompromised or undergoing chemotherapy and are therefore at higher risk of having a severe or deadly case of COVID-19, so limiting their exposure to unvaccinated people protects them from harm.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: USA TODAY