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West Milton man thinks his religious beliefs may be keeping him off a transplant list

West Milton man thinks his religious beliefs may be keeping him off a transplant list (WKEF/WRGT)

WEST MILTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - February 14 marks not only Valentine's Day, but also National Organ Donor Day.

FOX 45 spoke with a West Milton man who is in need of a kidney, who said he was taken off the active transplant list after voicing his religious objections to seeing a psychiatrist.

William Durham, 48, worked around chemicals and took medication for stomach issues, and ended up needing two kidney transplants in 1997 and 2004.

Now he needs another one, but he said he may not get it because of his beliefs. Durham said he was on the active transplant list at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.

During a required psychiatric evaluation, he said he doesn't believe in psychiatry.

"I've been on the list now for three years and this has never been an issue," he said. "They knew from the start that I did not believe in psychiatry."

He said it's against his Pentecostal faith, and compares psychiatry to witchcraft.

He said the transplant committee wants him to see a psychiatrist for six months before having the surgery.

"They didn't really give a reason. It's basically do it or you're not going to get a transplant," Durham said.

Durham said no to the psychiatrist visits, and said he was then taken off the active list.

"Which means if a graph comes in that matches me, I can not get surgery even though I've been cleared for surgery," he said. "Every day I'm on the inactive list, I could die."

Durham believes he's being singled out for his religious beliefs, but he's hopeful he'll find a kidney match and won't have to rely on a kidney from a deceased person.

"I do believe that I'm going to make it through this," he said. "There's going to be somebody out there that's going to step up and be a miracle on earth and give me a kidney."

Durham is on a national donor list and one in Ohio. He said the more lists you're on, the better your chances.

FOX 45 reached out to St. Vincent and talked to a hospital spokesperson, but is still waiting for an official response.

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