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Florida Doctors Spoke About Unvaccinated COVID Patients As Others Considered Prioritizing The Vaccinated

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Doctors Treat Covid Patients

People are getting sick and tired of — and with — the coronavirus. Doctors have had enough too. 

On Monday, August 23, 2021, 75 doctors from a hospital in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida partook in a news conference to draw attention to the surge of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.

They did not walk off the job or refuse to treat patients but urged people to get vaccinated. But an Alabama doctor's announcement that he will no longer treat COVID-19 patients has stired debates.

Should doctors refuse to treat unvaccinated COVID-19 patients?

As doctors continue to make difficult decisions about patient wellbeing, an ethics question is being raised about how doctors prioritize COVID-19 patients. 

Palm Beach Internal Medicine Doctor, Dr. Rupesh Dharia said, “We are exhausted. Our patience and resources are running low and we need your help.”

All of the doctors in the news conference were confirmed to be off duty during the protest.

The vast majority of cases these doctors have seen are mostly amongst the unvaccinated patients. Many of those unvaccinated patients have expressed deep regret for not getting inoculated against the coronavirus.

Florida has the largest COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.

In the past week, Florida hit 150,000 new COVID-19 cases. Florida state hospitals are at approximately 84.6% capacity.

About 51.6% is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Infectious-disease specialist, Dr. Lesie Diaz said, "The vaccine still remains the most effective and reliable way to stop this madness."

RELATED: Nurse In Germany Suspected Of Giving Out Saline Solution Instead Of Covid-19 Vaccine

A doctor in Alabama refuses to treat unvaccinated patients.

Diagnostic and Medical Clinic Infirmary Health in Mobile physician, Dr. Jason Valentine, took to Facebook to express his take on unvaccinated patients.

He posted a photo of himself next to a sign that says, “Effective Oct. 1, 2021, Dr. Valentine will no longer see patients that are not vaccinated against COVID-19.”

“If they asked why,” Valentine wrote, “I told them COVID is a miserable way to die and I can’t watch them die like that.”

In addition to the photo, Valentine posted a letter to his patients, which he was planning on sending them through the mail.

“We do not yet have any great treatments for severe disease, but we do have great prevention with vaccines. Unfortunately, many have declined to take the vaccine, and some end up severely ill or dead,” he wrote in the letter.

“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.”

“Therefore, as of October 1st, 2021, I will no longer see patients that have not been vaccinated against COVID-19,” the letter went on.

“If you wish to keep me as your physician, documentation of your vaccination will suffice. If you wish to choose another physician, we will be happy to transfer your records.”

After sharing the information online, Valentine wrote that three unvaccinated patients reached out, asking where they could get inoculated.

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Alabama has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. 

Only approximately 36.6% of Alabama's population has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. 

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey blamed unvaccinated people for the surge of Covid-19 cases.

"Folks are supposed to have common sense," Ivey said. "But it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

Birmingham Grandview Medical Center hospitalist, Dr. Brytney Cobia took to Facebook to express her concerns about the low vaccination rates as well.

"One of the last things [unvaccinated patients] do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine,” she wrote. “I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late."

"A few days later when I call time of death,” she continued. “I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same.”

RELATED: Refusing To Get The Vaccine Is Not A ‘Right’ — It’s A Privilege Few Can Afford

Izzy Casey is a writer who covers pop culture, news, and entertainment for YourTango.