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Ohio judge reverses ruling, says hospital can't be forced to give Ivermectin to COVID-19 patient

The judge said that there wasn't support among scientific and medical communities on treating COVID-19 with Ivermectin.

Updated: September 7, 2021 - 7:15pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

An Ohio judge reversed a previous ruling on Monday that required a hospital to administer Ivermectin to a COVID-19 patient at his wife's request.

Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Oster Jr. ruled against Julie Smith, wife of 51-year-old COVID-19 patient Jeffrey Smith, who has been in the intensive care unit (ICU) of West Chester Hospital since July 15 and on a ventilator since Aug. 1, The Epoch Times reported.

On Aug. 23, Butler County Common Pleas Judge Gregory Howard ruled that the hospital had to give Jeffrey 30mg of Ivermectin every day for three weeks as prescribed by Ohio physician Dr. Fred Wagshul, but his order only lasted 14 days.

An emergency motion for a preliminary injunction, which requested a more permanent ruling, had been presented to Oster, who ruled that Julie had not met her burden of proof on the issue. He said that there isn't support among scientific and medical communities on treating COVID-19 with Ivermectin, which he cited from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Pharmacists Association, according to The Times.

Oster said that studies appearing to show Ivermectin's efficacy were inconsistent and limited, even as some doctors support using it to treat COVID-19. "[B]ased upon the evidence, it has not been shown to be effective at this juncture," he wrote.

He added that "If it is not an effective treatment, then this court cannot find by clear and convincing evidence that an irreparable injury will occur" if he didn't order the hospital to administer Ivermectin.

Wagshul, who had prescribed Ivermectin for Jeffrey, said that he "seems to be" improving after receiving the drug. He added that "I honestly don't know" if continuing its use would benefit Jeffrey, The Times reported.

A lawyer for Julie, Ralph Lorigo, told The Epoch Times that her husband's condition was improving during the Ivermectin treatment.

"The ivermectin has done enough good. Thirteen days worth of ivermectin is a very good supply," he said. "We're hopeful that that could turn the tide" and get Jeffrey off the ventilator.

Lorigo also said he would advise Julie to not appeal the decision because of the time it would take.

Oster wrote in his order, "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."

In a statement from the University of Cincinnati Health, which runs West Chester Hospital, it said 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."

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