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Michael Hiltzik: Texas court says you can't force a hospital to give you ivermectin for COVID

Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

Yet the medicine, most commonly used as a dewormer for farm animals and household pets, has been taken up as a cause by a right-wing claque of anti-government and anti-vaccine activists.

That was behind the Jones family's insistence that Jason be treated with ivermectin.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that prescriptions for the drug have soared from an average 3,600 a week prior to the pandemic to more than 88,000 by mid-August.

The Texas appeals ruling is a victory for the cause of public health, in that it rejects the notion that patients can demand that doctors and hospitals abandon their professional judgment or that judges can order them to do so. "The judiciary ... must be vigilant to stay in its lane," Sudderth wrote.

Sudderth took pains to specify that she was not ruling on the efficacy of the drug against COVID-19. Rather, her decision turned on whether the trial judge, and by extension any judge, had the legal authority to order a hospital to perform any particular treatment.

The answer was a resounding no. "The law does not allow this court, the trial court, or any other court to substitute our nonmedical judgment for the professional medical judgment of health care providers," she wrote.

 

It's instructive to run through the steps that landed a comatose Jones in the ICU, for they show how ideologically-inspired medical misinformation can injure or even kill.

To begin with, Jones was unvaccinated, to which the first doctor to treat him at Huguley, Jason Seiden, attributed his "poor state of health," according to Seiden's trial court testimony.

Seiden treated Jones with steroids and antibiotics, but Jones refused most of the drugs in Huguley's COVID treatment protocol. Jones' wife, Erin, researched alternative therapies and stumbled upon ivermectin. When she asked the hospital to administer the drug, it refused.

Through an online search, Erin Jones then found Mary Talley Bowden, a Texas physician who has been an outspoken opponent of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and promoter of ivermectin.

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