Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear ivermectin treatment case

The Wisconsin Supreme Court will determine whether a court can compel a hospital to provide ivermectin as treatment for COVID-19.

A Dec. 23 article published on the AMA website detailed a lawsuit filed against a Wisconsin hospital. After a patient was forced to be intubated, the patient's nephew tried to compel physicians to give his uncle ivermectin, a treatment experts say is ineffective against COVID-19. His uncle has since recovered and was released from the hospital.

Meanwhile, the Litigation Center of the American Medical Association and State Medical Societies and Wisconsin Medical Society filed an amicus brief to urge Wisconsin's highest court to affirm that the law does not give "a patient or a patient's agent the right to force" private hospitals or physicians to administer a treatment they conclude is below the standard of care.

"Holding otherwise would allow courts to compel treatments that the medical consensus finds to be substandard," the brief argues with respect to the case, Gahl v. Aurora Health. "That outcome forces Wisconsin physicians to choose between the law and their ethical duties, potentially exposing patients to harm and physicians to liability."

Wisconsin law does not require physicians to provide treatment that medical evidence suggests will not benefit patients and may cause harm, the brief said. Ivermectin is not approved or recommended by the CDC or FDA for treating COVID-19, and the National Institutes of Health, World Health Organization and the drug's manufacturer, Merck, say there is insufficient evidence to support using ivermectin to treat COVID-19.


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