We wear 'black robes, not white coats': Court overturns ruling compelling UPMC to give ivermectin

A Pennsylvania appeals court on Sept. 22 overturned an injunction that required a Pittsburgh-based UPMC hospital to administer ivermectin to a COVID-19 patient, court documents show. 

In January, a county court issued a preliminary injunction, directing UPMC Harrisburg (Pa.) to allow two physicians — who were not credentialed at the hospital — to give a critically ill COVID-19 patient ivermectin at the request of his power of attorney. UPMC appealed the ruling, and the patient, who was in intensive care, died in February before the issue was resolved. 

In its ruling, the appeals court rebuked the lower court for the injunction, saying courts do not have the legal authority to compel a healthcare organization to administer a treatment contrary to physicians' professional judgment and outside the standard of care.

"Judges are not doctors" and "cannot practice medicine from the bench," Judge Correale Stevens wrote in the court's opinion. "The judiciary is called upon to serve in black robes, not white coats. And it must be vigilant to stay in its lane and remember its role. Even if we disagree with a hospital's decision, we cannot interfere with its lawful exercise of discretion without a valid legal basis."

 

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