Ohio judge reverses decision ordering hospital to treat patient with ivermectin

An Ohio judge on Monday ruled a hospital no longer had to give a COVID-19 patient ivermectin, reversing a previous decision from another judge.

“While this court is sympathetic to the Plaintiff and understands the idea of wanting to do anything to help her loved one, public policy should not and does not support allowing a physician to try ‘any’ type of treatment on human beings,” Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster said in the court order.

Julie Smith, the wife of COVID-19 patient Jeffery Smith, sued West Chester Hospital after the hospital would not treat her husband with ivermectin that was prescribed to him by a doctor.

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The drug was prescribed by Fred Wagshul, who is a licensed physician but not board certified, for 21 days. It was prescribed to Smith without reviewing his medical history, according to court testimony, WBNS reported.

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Gregory Howard ruled in favor of Julie Smith at the end of August and the hospital was forced to give her husband the doses.

The hospital appealed the decision, arguing against Wagshul’s credentials in court and pointing to the Federal Drug Administration’s warning against using ivermectin to treat COVID-19.

Ralph Lorigo, one of the attorneys representing Julie Smith, said they will not appeal Oster’s decision since Jeffery Smith already received 13 days of doses and the hospital said they are ready to take him off the ventilator soon.

“While the Judge finally denied our petition, I believe we saved Jeff Smith's life,” Lorigo told The Hill. 

Daniel Tanase, Smith’s treating physician, argued in court against the idea that ivermectin has helped his patient and said there isn’t enough evidence to be using ivermectin to fight COVID-19.

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“At UC Health, we respect the expertise of our clinicians and appreciate the scientific rigor used to develop treatments, medications and other therapies,” UC Health said in a statement after the judge ruled in the hospital’s favor.

“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.”

This story was updated at 4:41 p.m.