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We told them not to jab our parents. They ignored us and our father died


A VULNERABLE elderly couple received covid shots after consent had been refused by their next of kin. Even worse, the qualified health practitioner who sought permission and was told not to administer the shots was the person who gave them the injections. Two days later the husband collapsed, never recovered and subsequently died.

Ruth and Denis Lawrenson, aged 96 and 91, from Deal in Kent, were housebound. Both had suffered with dementia for several years and neither had the capacity to give informed consent. Their son David and his older brother hold power of attorney for both parents.

David said: ‘In April 2022, I wrote to my parents’ GP, at their surgery in Deal, requesting that my parents did not have any more covid vaccines or booster vaccines. My parents had told me that they did not wish to have any more after I spoke to them about the number of adverse events recorded by the Yellow Card Scheme.

‘They still gave my parents’ details to the vaccine centre who then called my brother. He told them that my parents did not want the covid vaccine, but they visited them at home and gave them both what we think was their second covid booster.’

It was the Lawrensons’ GP surgery who shared their details with Whitfield Village Hall vaccination centre, Dover, whose staff conducted home visits for those unable to attend. The vaccine centre manager, Dr Julian Mead, has since admitted the ‘error’ and the case will be referred to the Health Ombudsman by the family. The Ombudsman is so overloaded with work that the Lawrensons have been told they will not look at the case for eight months.

David Lawrenson, 61, a retired residential property investor from Kent, said that his brother, who does not wish to be named, was contacted by a male health practitioner from the vaccine centre. He was asked for permission to vaccinate his parents against covid, and he flatly refused. Their GP had already been told 18 months earlier, in writing, that his parents were not to have covid vaccinations.

David said: ‘I have since spoken to Dr Mead who runs the vaccine centre, and he fully admits that the conversation with my brother took place and that my brother made it clear that neither of our parents was to have a covid vaccine. He admits that the error took place and that the same person who called to obtain consent and was told no, then went ahead and administered the shots anyway.

‘Dr Mead says he cannot explain why, or how, this happened.

‘Two days after my dad received his injection on October 21, 2023, he collapsed and fell. He went to bed but ate nothing for seven days and on October 30 was admitted to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother hospital in Margate, Kent. I visited him the next day.

‘A paramedic attempted to take a pin-prick blood sample. My father kept screaming and begging her to stop, saying: “No!” loudly. I can only imagine the resistance that my father put up when it came to receiving his covid vaccine.’

Despite a phobia of needles, Denis Lawrenson had been given the first two Pfizer covid shots and a Pfizer booster. He and his wife believed what they were told by the BBC: that the jabs would protect them from covid. However, the second shot led to him losing the sight in his eye after he developed rapid macular degeneration. His dementia worsened too.

David said: ‘The reaction was so bad, I filled in a Yellow Card and submitted it to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).’

He has since discovered that the GP surgery had not told the vaccination centre that Mr and Mrs Lawrenson had dementia because this is not a legal requirement.

After the healthcare worker, a nurse, administered the shots, he did not leave any information or leaflets at the house with details about the vaccine, what to expect when it came to side-effects, or how to report any serious adverse events to the Yellow Card Scheme. The vaccination centre said that this was normal practice although they have a legal duty to provide full informed consent which includes discussing side-effects. It would also have been obvious to the nurse that neither Mr nor Mrs Lawrenson had capacity to agree.

The brothers discovered the vaccines had been given because the vaccinator had left cards at their parents’ home giving batch number details and date of administration.

Protocol in cases where permission has been denied for vulnerable adults is that the NHS must apply to the Court of Protection for permission. Failure to do this constitutes assault if a medical procedure takes place without consent. Precedent was set in the 2015 case Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board. The Supreme Court ruled that a pregnant female patient with diabetes had not received proper informed consent. She was not given the option of a caesarean delivery which resulted in her baby suffering life-changing injuries. The patient’s right to self-determination in treatment decisions triumphs over medical paternalism but the police will rarely act in cases where informed consent has been violated, especially in covid cases.

Denis Lawrenson was an engineer before he retired, specialising in tunnels. He moved to Kent with his family so that he could work on the Channel Tunnel. Ruth stayed at home to raise David and his brother and was involved in charity work.

David said his parents were bright, stand-up citizens and that his dad was funny and latterly obsessed with work. Both parents liked talking about politics.

He added: ‘My mum’s dementia seems to be developing rapidly since she received her booster jab. I don’t know whether this is because of the vaccine. She developed shingles round the eye after she received her covid booster in September 2022. It really knocked it out of her, and it took her five or six weeks to get better.’

It seems the vaccine centre and GP practice were particularly incompetent when it came to ignoring the family’s wishes, but David thinks one explanation could be because of payments made to the surgery for administering the jabs, a theory all involved strenuously deny.

Dr Mead explained the financial incentive offered to vaccinate Mr and Mrs Lawrenson. He said that the local primary care network earns £10.06 for each flu vaccine administered and £7.50 for each covid vaccine. An additional £12.50 was paid if the shots were given before the end of October 2023 and they received £10 for each housebound visit. The total received for visiting the Lawrensons was £80.12.

David said in his Ombudsman complaint: ‘It is my view that the drive to make money for the local surgeries led to the vaccination centre worker ignoring our advice and clearly stated requests. I believe this led to my father’s death. As a minimum, this worker should face consequences. He should be sacked.’

Denis Lawrenson died in hospital on December 6, 2023. His wife is aware but confused. The death certificate states the cause of death as dementia and multiple organ failure. No inquest was requested because of his age.

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Sally Beck
Sally Beck
Sally Beck is a freelance journalist with 30 years of experience in writing for national newspapers and magazines. She has reported on vaccines since the controversy began with the MMR in 1998.

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