Texas court says hospital cannot be forced to offer ivermectin to COVID-19 patient

On Thursday, a Texas court of appeals ruled that a hospital cannot be forced to treat a COVID-19 patient with ivermectin after the wife of patient in the hospital’s care sued to demand the treatment. The drug is normally used to eliminate parasitic worms.

A 48-year-old law enforcement official named Jason Jones was hospitalized in late September at the Texas Health Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth after testing positive for coronavirus. According to court documents, he was put in a medically induced coma and placed on a ventilator on October 7.

After consulting with Mary Talley Bowden, a physician not connected with the hospital, Jones’ wife, Erin, asked Huguley to give her husband ivermectin. Huguley staff refused to administer the medication, and Erin Jones filed a lawsuit. 

The Food and Drug Administration has not authorized the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, but there has been widespread interest in the drug.

Bowden recently lost physician privileges at another nearby hospital, Houston Methodist, after the hospital said she spread “misinformation” about the coronavirus, and she prescribed ivermectin for Jones. Thursday’s ruling revoked Bowden’s temporary privileges at Huguley that had been given in a trial court decision.

Chief justice of the Texas appellate court, Bonnie Sudderth, wrote regarding the decision, “Judges are not doctors. We are not empowered to decide whether a particular medication should be administered.”

She continued, “Although we may empathize with a wife’s desire to try anything and everything to save her husband, we are bound by the law, and the law in this case does not allow judicial intervention.” Bowden expressed her frustration on Twitter, and in an interview with a Houston news channel that aired this week, she said that she was only trying to help patients.

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