Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Coronavirus Update 8-31-21: Despite FDA and CDC warnings to the contrary, Ohio court orders hospital to administer Ivermectin to Covid patient

Ivermectin is a high potency medication used to prevent or treat parasites in livestock. It's FDA-approved for limited use in humans, such as in specific doses for some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and certain skin conditions. It is not an anti-viral medication. 

Yet, the drug has grown in popularity among conservatives, fueled by endorsements from people like Senator Ron Johnson and Fox News personalities Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity. It is not approved to treat COVID-19 infections, and both the FDA and CDC have issued strong warnings against its use for that purpose. Nevertheless, reports of poisoning related to the use of Ivermectin have increased threefold this year, spiking in July, and feed stores in states with low vaccines rates selling out of the drug.

Courts are now wading into the issue, but not how you'd expect. 

A common pleas judge in Butler County, Ohio, has issued an order compelling West Chester Hospital to administer Ivermectin to one of its Covid patients, Jeffrey Smith. Smith tested positive for Covid on July 9, was hospitalized and admitted to the ICU six days later, and was sedated, intubated, and placed on a ventilator Aug. 1. While intubated he developed a secondary infection which he is still battling. His wife, Julie, discovered Ivermectin on her own and connected with Ohio physician Dr. Fred Wagshul, a founding member of the nonprofit Front Line Covid 19 Critical Care Alliance, who prescribed the drug. She filed suit after the hospital failed to administer it pursuant to that prescription. 

In an interview with the Ohio Capital Journal, Dr. Wagshu, who says he has no financial stake in Ivermectin, also said that the science behind Ivermectin's use in Covid patients is "irrefutable," that the CDC and FDA are engaged in a "conspiracy," to block its use, and that the mainstream media and social media companies are engaging in "censorship" on Ivermectin's merits. He added, "If we were a country looking at another country allowing those [Covid] deaths daily … we would have been screaming, 'Genocide!'" 

West Chester Hospital appears to have not mounted any defense to Smith's lawsuit. Why? Likely because the court order gives them tremendous cover in the event of a bad outcome.  

  • No Ivermectin and death = malpractice lawsuit for refusing to treat. 
  • Ivermectin and death = no malpractice lawsuit because the hospital was abiding by a court order.

A brilliant legal move, even if I have serious questions about the medical ethics behind it.

Finally, if someone can explain to me the logic of refusing a vetted and approved vaccine because you "don't know what's in it," while at the same time clamoring for an unapproved and dangerous livestock medication, I'm all ears. And they call us sheep?

* Photo by Christine Mendoza on Unsplash