Although major physicians associations oppose its use, a number of doctors nationwide believe the drug Ivermectin is an effective treatment for COVID-19 and they prescribe it within the confines of their own offices. Doctors who work in hospitals, however, must abide by their hospital administration's policies. This is causing friction among some hospitals, doctors, and patients.
One of the most recent cases involves Virginia critical care physician Paul Marik, who last month sued Sentara Norfolk General Hospital to immediately allow him to prescribe Ivermectin to his COVID-19 patients.
The hospital banned the use of Ivermectin for COVID-19 patients after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned against it, saying on their website it approved Ivermectin to treat "worms, head lice and skin conditions like rosacea," but "data do not show Ivermectin is effective against COVID-19," adding, "Clinical trials assessing Ivermectin tablets for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in people are ongoing."
Norfolk Circuit Court Judge David Lanetti, who is also a Regent University Law School professor, denied Dr. Marik's request to immediately be given the right to prescribe Ivermectin to his hospital patients. However, Dr. Marik's attorney, Fred Taylor, told The Virginian Pilot the case will still move forward to trial.
"While we are disappointed that the Court did not grant the temporary injunction, our case for the rights of doctors and their patients remains alive and well," Taylor said. "We expect to ultimately succeed on the merits of our case at trial."
Dr. Marik maintains his COVID-19 treatment using Ivermectin and other substances saves lives. CBN News first interviewed Marik in 2017 about his groundbreaking treatment for sepsis, however that treatment was later shown to be ineffective in a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2020.
Dr. Marik declined to speak on the record to CBN News about his Ivermectin treatment and his ongoing case against the hospital on advice from his attorneys.
Dr. Marik's MATH+ treatment is described on the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance website. Dr. Marik co-founded the FLCCC which also details on its website articles and research from other countries showing Ivermectin's effectiveness in treating COVID-19.
On November 18, 2021, the date of Marik's initial hearing asking a judge to force Norfolk General hospital to allow the doctor to prescribe the treatment, the hospital reportedly issued a two-week suspension of Marik's hospital privileges.
Meanwhile, a crowd of his supporters gathered outside the courthouse protesting the hospital's ban on Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients.
"He died a month after he turned 60 in the hospital," Bobbie Murphy told CBN News, speaking of her husband who passed away in a different hospital after he was refused Ivermectin. "I begged every single doctor I came in contact with for 36 days and we were denied every time."
Bonnie Stewart told CBN News her 55-year-old critically ill husband was denied Ivermectin at hospitals in Lynchburg and Charlottesville, Virginia.
"The doctor that I talked to told me that Ivermectin was dangerous and that they would not administer it and it was not approved by the FDA for COVID," she said.
Some physicians, like Sheila Furey, who freely prescribe Ivermectin in their offices, believe physicians should be provided the same freedom in the hospitals where they practice.
"Our patients should never be denied treatment by hospital administration or the government," she told CBN News. "It is only in COVID that this has changed and that the hands of the physicians have been tied around this country and we've been prevented from giving treatments that we believe would help a patient."
Sentara Healthcare provided CBN News the following statement in response to Dr. Marik's lawsuit:
"Sentara Healthcare is consistently ranked among the top hospital systems in the nation for quality and patient safety, and follows evidence-based protocols to treat COVID-19 as recommended by trusted agencies including the CDC, NIH, and FDA. All of these agencies currently do not recommend the use of Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 due to a lack of evidence regarding its safety and efficacy. Sentara generates treatment guidelines by engaging multi-disciplinary groups of clinicians to review literature, care standards and provide expert advice. In most situations, physicians are able to deviate from guidelines to individualize care for patients. However, in some scenarios, treatments that may potentially harm patients or that are widely considered to be outside the standard of care may be limited."
While Dr. Marik's case will likely continue into next year, other cases like it have already been decided with mixed results. The American Bar Association reports as of October 28, 2021, in three cases hospitals were forced to allow Ivermectin treatment for COVID-19 patients and in four others, hospital bans on the practice were upheld.
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