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Ohio News

New Judge Says Cincinnati Hospital Can't Be Forced To Treat Patient With Ivermectin

 UC Health West Chester
UC Health West Chester

A Cincinnati hospital won’t be forced to continue to treat a COVID patient on a ventilator with an unproven drug.

This comes after a judge overruled a previous order from a fellow judge in the same court.

Butler County Judge Michael Oster Jr. denied a request to order UC Health West Chester Hospital to treat 51-year-old Jeffrey Smith with ivermectin. Some people are using the drug to prevent or treat COVID, despite several public health agencies advising against it.

It had been prescribed by a doctor from Centerville who hadn’t seen Smith and didn’t have privileges at the hospital. Smith has been hospitalized in intensive care since July 15, and on August 1 he was put on a ventilator.

Smith’s wife Julie had sued when the hospital refused to use the drug. Butler County Common Pleas Judge Gregory Howard heard her request because of the urgency of the case, and ruled on August 23 that the hospital must treat Smith with ivermectin.

Oster wrote that he’s sympathetic and that "everyone wants Jeff Smith to get better."And he wrote that the court wasn't making a decision on whether ivermectin is effective.

But he noted the CDC, FDA, American Medical Association and other major medical organizations say it’s not a treatment for COVID, and that when the doctor who had prescribed it was asked if Smith would get better with ivermectin, he said: "I honestly don't know." And Oster ruled that since Smith could be moved to a hospital where the doctor had privileges, UC Health West Chester wouldn't be forced to continue the treatment.

UC Health had argued for the freedom to decline to use the drug under a new “medical conscience” clause in the state budget allowing health care providers to refuse treatments that violate their beliefs.
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.