Judge rules hospital can’t be forced to treat patient with ivermectin
HAMILTON, Ohio (WXIX/ENQUIRER) - West Chester Hospital is not required to give a man ivermectin as a form of treatment for COVID-19, Common Pleas Court Judge Michael A. Oster Jr. ruled Monday.
Judge Oster based his ruling on the lack of evidence showing ivermectin is likely to succeed in treating COVID-19, according to court documents.
Jeffrey Smith, 51, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in July and was placed in the intensive care unit where he remains.
He no longer has an active COVID-19 infection but continues to suffer from “severe acute respiratory distress syndrome,” UC Health said Sept. 2 in a court filing obtained by our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Smith was prescribed 30 mg daily doses of ivermectin by Dr. Fred Wagshul.
Wagshul said in court last week he thinks ivermectin is “very, very effective” against COVID-19. As it turns out, Wagshul knew nothing about Smith before prescribing the drug, he said while in court.
The hospital refused the treatment citing lack of FDA approval, but Smith’s wife filed a lawsuit in an attempt to force the hospital to treat him with ivermectin.
On Aug. 23, a Butler County judge approved an injunction requiring the hospital to follow through and treatment was started.
UC Health then sought to overturn the order which Judge Oster modified last Friday to allow the hospital to cease treatment if a “potentially life-threatening side effect does develop,” per the Enquirer.
Jonathan Davidson, the attorney representing the Smith family, sent a statement to FOX19 NOW following the ruling:
“We are certainly disappointed with the court’s decision today. I know this was a decision that Judge Oster did not take lightly. “Fortunately, Mr. Smith was able to receive 14 days of treatment of ivermectin, during which time his condition did improve. “While he has likely received his last dose at UC West Chester Hospital, we can only hope his condition continues to trend positively.”
UC Health also released a statement:
“At UC Health, we respect the expertise of our clinicians and appreciate the scientific rigor used to develop treatments, medications and other therapies. We do not believe that hospitals or clinicians should be ordered to administer medications and/or therapies, especially unproven medications and/or therapies, against medical advice. We are grateful for the judge’s careful consideration and for the judicial process in this matter.
This news, while positive in support of respect for science and the expertise of medical professionals, does not change the fact that there are many people suffering from COVID-19 in our communities. We implore all members of the community to do what we know works: wear a mask, become fully vaccinated and use social distancing whenever possible.” Kelly Martin, Marketing & Communications, UC Health, said.
Doses of the ivermectin meant for animals can be highly toxic possibly even fatal in humans, according to the FDA. Some states are reporting increased calls to poison control as that version of the drug flies off store shelves.
Another version of the drug in human-appropriate doses is FDA-approved for use against head lice and some skin infections.
The FDA is conducting clinical trials on that version of ivermectin to treat COVID-19, but currently it has neither full FDA approval nor an emergency use authorization.
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