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COVID-19 patient whose wife sued for ivermectin treatment dies, attorney says

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 9:10 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2021 at 9:13 AM EDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - A man with COVID-19 whose wife sued to force a hospital to treat him with ivermectin has died, according to his attorney.

Jeffrey Smith passed away on Saturday, Sept. 25, his attorney, Jonathan Davidson of Hamilton, said.

Smith, 51, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in July and was in the intensive care unit at West Chester Hospital.

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that federal regulators have warned against using in COVID-19 patients.

On Aug. 23, Butler County Common Pleas Judge Gregory Howard ordered West Chester Hospital, part of the UC Health network, to treat Smith with Ivermectin and he began to receive regular doses of the drug.

On Sept. 6, another Butler County Common Pleas Court judge, Michael Oster, said the hospital was not required to give Smith ivermectin and treatment was stopped.

Judge Oster said he based his ruling on the lack of evidence showing ivermectin is likely to succeed in treating COVID-19, court records show.

Ivermectin is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use against the coronavirus. The drug is approved to treat some parasitic worms, head lice and some skin conditions.

The FDA says it is doing ‘initial research’ into ivermectin’s effectiveness against COVID-19 and adds taking the drug in large doses is dangerous and can cause serious harm.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, says the best protection against COVID-19 is to be vaccinated.

“It’s the best treatment option that any of us can think of. Actually, a therapeutic preventative, but nevertheless the best medical intervention that we’ve come up with,” he said. “While I understand people are hopeful and searching for other things... we have to wait until the data and the medical literature tell us, ‘yes, that really is one of those other things.’ But right now, the data that I have seen would not lead me to that conclusion about ivermectin, which is a drug just like many therapeutics, can have a host of adverse effects on any patient.”

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