Alabama Doctor Refuses to Treat Unvaccinated COVID Patients

An Alabama doctor announced he would not treat patients who refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and since making the move, three people have gotten the shot.

Dr. Jason Valentine, a physician at Mobile's Diagnostic and Medical Clinic Infirmary Health, posted a photo on his Facebook account of himself pointing to a sign reading that effective October 1, 2021, he would no longer see patients who 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 wrote in his post.

The post now has over 300 likes, 96 shares and 64 comments. Most of the comments are supportive in nature, yet a few questioned whether the doctor would continue to see people who make other potentially health-endangering decisions, like smoking cigarettes.

An Alabama doctor announced he would not treat patients who refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19. In this photo, nurses wearing personal protective equipment attend to patients in a COVID-19 intensive care unit at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital on January 6, 2021 in the Willowbrook neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

According to data gathered by The New York Times, Alabama is the least vaccinated state in the country with just 36 percent of people vaccinated. Alabama has averaged 3,600 cases of COVID-19 per day over the past week, as well as 25 deaths from the virus per day in that same time period, per the data.

The Alabama Hospital Association President Dr. Don Williamson announced on Tuesday that only two of the state's 1,562 ICU beds were available. This figure excludes the availability of beds that must be moved to other areas of the hospital outside of the ICU.

As the situation in the state has become ever dire, Alabama doctors have joined Valentine in being vocal about the risks of refusing vaccination.

Newsweek previously reported on a doctor who posted to Facebook that intubated patients infected with COVID-19 were begging for the vaccine. Dr. Brytney Cobia told that of all the COVID patients she'd treated, only one was vaccinated.

"One of the last things they 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."

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has been vocal in encouraging the people of her state to get the shot. In an address before reporters, Ivey called the vaccine "safe" and "effective," saying that it was time "to start blaming" unvaccinated people for the growing numbers of cases in the state.

"Why would we want to mess around with just temporary stuff?" Ivey told reporters. "We don't need to encourage people to just go halfway with curing this disease. Let's get it done. And we know what it takes to get it done."