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Chequered history of Ivermectin rulings in US court state courts

US courts have in the past year ruled on a number of lawsuits regarding treatment with Ivermectin for hospitalised COVID-19 patients, reports MedPage Today.

MedPage Today has done a roundup of known cases:

New York
The first of these cases cropped up in January 2021, when a judge ordered Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Buffalo, New York, to give Ivermectin to 80-year-old Judith Smentkiewicz. She had been on a ventilator battling COVID-19 when her family pleaded with one of the hospital’s physicians to try Ivermectin. Smentkiewicz received her first dose before another doctor at the hospital refused to continue the treatment.

Smentkiewicz’s family maintained that even the first dose of the experimental drug made rapid improvements to her condition, which subsequently declined after the second dose was refused. The hospital insisted that doctors, not the courts, should be at the forefront of these decisions. State Supreme Court Judge Henry Nowak, however, went the way of Smentkiewicz’s family.

It is reported that Smentkiewicz recovered after resuming her treatments, but the connection between Ivermectin and her turnaround remains unclear. Some clinicians have argued that patients might just be getting better, with or without this particular drug.

Illinois
The same was seen when Judge James Orel, of DuPage County, Illinois, ordered Edward-Elmhurst Hospital to allow 68-year-old Nurije Fype to receive Ivermectin as a treatment for her acute COVID illness. (Reported in MedicalBrief on 12 May 2021)

Fype’s daughter, Desareta, learned of the drug after reading about Smentkiewicz’s situation months prior. When her own mother was placed on a ventilator, she sought out Ivermectin. Doctors refused, given the drug’s experimental status for COVID-19 and potential side effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, sudden drops in blood pressure, and liver injury.

Bending to the judge’s orders, the hospital granted internist Dr Alan Bain credentials to give Fype Ivermectin. According to some reports, she was discharged from the hospital after her condition improved. Still, whether Ivermectin was what prompted Fype’s recovery has yet to be proven.

Not all of the legal battles against hospitals in the fight for Ivermectin have been successful, though. In September, MedPage Today reported that a judge sided in favour of Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois, which stood firmly against allowing Ivermectin treatments for COVID patients. Anita Clouse, wife of 61-year-old Randy Clouse, took to the courts to force Memorial Medical Center to give her husband Ivermectin.

Randy Clouse, who wasn’t vaccinated against COVID-19, was on a ventilator and dialysis as a result of his COVID infection, the State Journal-Register reported. But in a legal response, the hospital said that his condition was improving at the time of their filing and he no longer had an active COVID diagnosis.

Chicago internist Bain had prescribed Ivermectin to Clouse and testified in a hearing for the case. The lawyer representing the Springfield hospital maintained that Bain did not properly review Clouse’s medical history before prescribing the drug and that he refused to acknowledge the widespread medical advice regarding the use of Ivermectin for COVID-19 patients.

Attorney Ralph Lorigo, who represented Clouse and a number of other patients, told MedPage Today that on 3 November, Clouse was taken off the ventilator and later discharged from the hospital.

Lorigo also represented Man Kwan Ng, the daughter of 71-year-old Sun Ng, in a case against Edward Hospital in Naperville, Illinois. Sun Ng ended up on a ventilator with COVID-19 in mid-October, the Chicago Tribune reported

Despite the hospital’s refusal to turn to Ivermectin, citing the same safety and efficacy concerns as health officials, a DuPage County Judge ruled that Bain, who is unvaccinated, could prescribe Ivermectin for Ng.

According to the Daily Herald, Lorigo said Ng removed his breathing tube himself after five days of ivermectin treatment. The lawyer for Edward Hospital, however, said Ng was improving before the treatment even started.

Ohio
At the beginning of September, what at first looked like a win for Ivermectin proponents turned out to be a loss in the case of Julie Smith, who filed suit against West Chester Hospital, near Cincinnati, to allow the use of Ivermectin after her husband, Jeffrey Smith, 51, was placed on a ventilator and diagnosed with a secondary infection, the Ohio Capital Journal reported.

Although a Butler County judge originally ruled in favour of the Smith family against the hospital’s wishes, the ruling was flipped a week later by a different judge after physicians told the court that Ivermectin was not helping Smith get better, NPR reported.

Dr Fred Wagshul, who is affiliated with the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, had prescribed Ivermectin to Smith before the hospital’s refusal. At the follow-up hearing, Wagshul testified that he wasn’t sure if the drug would help Smith, ultimately convincing the judge to reverse the order.

“After considering all of the evidence presented in this case, there can be no doubt that the medical and scientific communities do not support the use of Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19,” Judge Michael Oster ruled. According to reports, Smith died a few weeks later.

Kentucky
In a similar decision from mid-September, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Charles Cunningham overruled a previous ruling from a different judge, ultimately permitting a hospital to deny the prescription of Ivermectin to a COVID patient.

Angela Underwood had filed a suit against Norton Brownsboro Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, claiming that the hospital prohibited one of its physicians from administering Ivermectin to her husband, Lonnie, 58, despite a previous agreement.

“[The internet] is rife with the ramblings of persons who spout ill-conceived conclusions, if not outright falsehoods,"” Cunningham said, according to a report by the Washington Post. "”If [Angela Underwood] wants to ask the Court to impose her definition of ‘medically indicated’ rather than the hospital’s, she needs to present the sworn testimony of solid witnesses, espousing solid opinions, based on solid data.”

 

MedPage Today article – Ivermectin’s Days in Court (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

US judge orders administration of Ivermectin to comatose patient

 

Increased human use of veterinary Ivermectin reflected in Oregon Poison Centre calls

 

Australian regulator bans off-label Ivermectin use as prescriptions climb

 

US court reverses order forcing hospital to treat patient with Ivermectin

 

Another key pro-Ivermectin meta-analysis is retracted

 

 

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