By Li Hai
A Butler County judge in Ohio has ordered a hospital to administer Ivermectin to a ventilated COVID-19 patient, granting an emergency relief filed by the patient’s wife.
Butler County Common Pleas Judge Gregory Howard ruled last week that West Chester Hospital, part of the University of Cincinnati’s health network UC Health, must “immediately administer Ivermectin” to patient Jeffrey Smith following his doctor’s prescription of 30 mg of Ivermectin for 21 days, the Ohio Capital Journal reported.
Smith, 51, is a Verizon Wireless engineer in Butler County. According to the lawsuit (pdf) filed by his wife Julie Smith, Smith tested positive for COVID-19 on July 9, and he was admitted to West Chester Hospital on July 15. On the same day, he was moved to an intensive care unit (ICU).
Smith’s condition continued to decline, and he was placed on a ventilator on Aug. 1. By Aug. 19, the ventilator was operating at 80 percent volume, with Smith’s chances of survival dropping to less than 30 percent, court documents read. At that time, the hospital claimed to have exhausted all options in its COVID-19 treatment protocol.
“At this point, there is nothing more the defendant can do, or will do, for my husband,” Julie wrote in an affidavit included in her complaint.
“However, I cannot give up on him, even if the defendant has,” Julie continued. “There is no reason why the defendant cannot approve or authorize other forms of treatments so long as the benefits outweigh the risks.”
These patients had won lawsuits forcing their hospitals to treat them with Ivermectin. The plaintiffs in these cases were all represented by attorney Ralph Lorigo, chairman of New York’s Erie County Conservative Party, who later became one of Julie’s attorneys.
According to court documents, Julie requested that the hospital treat her husband with Ivermectin, but the hospital refused to even though she offered to release them from “any and all” responsibility.
Julie then sought medical advice from Dr. Fred Wagshul, who later prescribed Ivermectin to her husband. But the hospital still refused to do so, prompting her to file a lawsuit against the hospital.
“With absolutely nothing to lose, with little to no risk, and with the defendant likely to begin palliative care, there is no basis for it to refuse Dr. Wagshul’s order and prescription to administer Ivermectin,” Julie said in the affidavit.
Wagshul is a founding member of the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), a nonprofit organization that is working during the pandemic to develop effective treatment protocols to prevent COVID-19 infection as well as treat patients with COVID-19.
In October of 2020, FLCCC adopted Ivermectin as a core medication in its protocols for preventing and treating COVID-19. Its website references many recent studies reporting Ivermectin to be a safe, effective, and inexpensive drug against COVID-19, the disease caused by CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
“Ivermectin is so safe,” Wagshul told Dayton247Now. “It essentially has no drug interactions and no side effects.”
The UC Health hasn’t responded to a request from The Epoch Times for comment. According to the Ohio Capital Journal, it hasn’t challenged the judge’s ruling.
Ivermectin is a drug that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain infections caused by internal and external parasites. A Japanese scientist and an Irish-American scientist were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2015 for their discovery of Ivermectin, given the drug’s success at improving the health and wellbeing of millions of individuals infected with river parasites in the poorest regions of the world.
President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has advised people against using Ivermectin to treat COVID-19.
“Don’t do it. There’s no evidence whatsoever that it works, and it could potentially have toxicity,” Fauci told CNN on Sunday. “There’s no clinical evidence that indicates that this works.”
Last Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an official health advisory (pdf), reiterating its opposition to the use of Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment.
“Ivermectin is not authorized or approved by FDA for prevention or treatment of COVID-19,” the advisory reads. “The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel has also determined that there are currently insufficient data to recommend Ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19.”
“Adverse effects associated with Ivermectin misuse and overdose are increasing, as shown by a rise in calls to poison control centers reporting overdoses and more people experiencing adverse effects,” the advisory continued.
FDA warned on its website that taking large doses of Ivermectin is “dangerous and can cause serious harm.” The agency also stressed that Ivermectin products for animals are different from products for people because animal drugs are often highly concentrated.
“Such high doses can be highly toxic in humans,” FDA said.
Follow Up to this post:
September 7, 2021, by BY ZACHARY STIEBER Epoch Times
A judge in Ohio on Monday said a hospital can’t be forced to give ivermectin to a COVID-19 patient, a reversal of a previous order.
The wife of Jeffrey Smith, a 51-year-old being treated in West Chester Hospital since mid-July, did not provide “clear and convincing evidence” to support her lawsuit against the hospital, Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Oster Jr. ruled.
Julie Smith, the wife, sued last month, arguing that the hospital should administer ivermectin to her husband because it was prescribed by a doctor, Dr. Fred Wagshul. Doing so has “minimal downside and side effects,” she said in the lawsuit.
The hospital refused, despite Julie Smith offering to sign a release that would have absolved the hospital from any liability in administering the medicine.
Butler County Common Pleas Judge Gregory Howard ruled recently that the hospital must give 30 milligrams a day to Jeffrey Smith, who was on a ventilator after testing positive for COVID-19.
But the order was temporary in nature, only lasting for 14 days.
Oster, presented with a motion for a more permanent ruling, said he did not think Julie Smith met her burden of proof in the matter.
The medical and scientific communities don’t support treating COVID-19 with ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug, the judge wrote, citing statements from, among others, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Pharmacists Association. Some doctors do support using the drug against COVID-19 and studies that appear to show its efficacy were limited and inconsistent, he added, writing that “based upon the evidence, it has not been shown to be effective at this juncture.”
In addition, the plaintiff hasn’t shown that irreparable injury will occur without another order forcing the hospital to administer ivermectin, the judge said.
“If it is not an effective treatment, then this court cannot find by clear and convincing evidence that an irreparable injury will occur without the injunction,” he wrote.
Wagshul, the doctor who prescribed the drug, told the court during a recent hearing that Jeffrey Smith “seems to be” getting better after receiving ivermectin. He also said that “I honestly don’t know” if further use would benefit the patient.
Wagshul didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The order also outlined how Oster believes letting judges dictate medical treatment would not serve the public interest.
“As a citizen, it would be easy to think about wanting to help someone in Jeff Smith’s condition, no matter the law. As a judge, the present case invites allowing emotions to steer one towards judicial activism. However, our legal system must stay firmly rooted in proper legal interpretation of the law, not what individual judges think the law should be. This Court is called upon to make its ruling irrespective of all sympathy, passion, or prejudice,” Oster wrote.
He referenced how the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was clear that he abhorred the burning of the American flag, but twice ruled in favor of the right to burn the flag.
The judge also said that Julie Smith could get her husband admitted to a different hospital where Wagshul has privileges, which would enable continued use of ivermectin.
The ruling came in response to an emergency motion for a preliminary injunction.
A spokeswoman for University of Cincinnati Health, which runs West Chester Hospital, said in a statement to news outlets that the ruling was “positive in support of respect for science and the expertise of medical professionals.”
“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,” the spokeswoman said.
Ralph Lorigo, one of Julie Smith’s lawyers, told The Epoch Times that the patient’s condition improved during the time he received ivermectin.
“The ivermectin has done enough good. Thirteen days worth of ivermectin is a very good supply,” Lorigo said. “We’re hopeful that that could turn the tide” and get Jeffrey Smith off the ventilator.
Lorigo said he would advise the plaintiff not to appeal the decision because it would take time.