Physician accused of spreading 'harmful' COVID-19 misinformation sues Houston Methodist

A Houston physician who resigned her provisional privileges at Houston Methodist Hospital after being suspended for using social media to spread what the hospital called "dangerous misinformation which is not based in science," is suing the hospital, according to Fox 26 Houston.

Mary Bowden, MD, an ear, nose and throat specialist who runs a private practice, announced the legal action at a news conference Jan. 17. 

Dr. Bowden is seeking COVID-19 data as well as financial information. 

Dr. Bowden, speaking to the hospital at the news conference, said, "We want to know, of the … people you have vaccinated, how many of those have had an adverse reaction, and what are they? Then, of all the people who have recently been admitted with COVID, how many of those people are fully vaccinated, how many of your fully vaccinated employees are having breakthrough cases, and of the … patients who have died in your hospitals, how many of them were refused early treatment?"

Dr. Bowden also posed financial questions, including whether the hospital has any financial relationships with the vaccine companies, and is seeking information related to hospital earnings during the pandemic. She claims the hospital has not been transparent. 

"Because they have not responded to requests for information, I decided to take legal action against Methodist," she said. "And I am not seeking any financial gains from this or personal gain. I am simply seeking the truth, which we all deserve."

Houston Methodist told Becker's it would not be issuing a comment about the lawsuit. 

Dr. Bowden resigned Nov. 15, 2021, after she was suspended Nov. 12 for using her social media accounts to spread what the hospital described as misinformation about COVID-19. 

Dr. Bowden has tweeted about vaccination mandates and treatments, including her support for the drug ivermectin. Ivermectin is typically used to treat parasitic infections in animals, and the FDA has warned against using it to treat COVID-19. 

In a Nov. 17 statement, Marc Boom, MD, president and CEO of the Houston Methodist system, said Dr. Bowden also was suspended "for using vulgar and foul language while expressing her opinions." 

"This inappropriate and disrespectful language violates our core values at Houston Methodist and reflects poorly on Houston Methodist, our physicians and the medical profession as a whole," Dr. Boom added.

Dr. Bowden's privileges at the hospital were suspended pending investigation, and she voluntarily resigned days later, while the review was ongoing. 

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