'Judges are not nurses or doctors': Ohio judge tosses colleague's decision to allow COVID patient, 51, to be treated with horse dewormer ivermectin

An Ohio judge ordered a hospital to stop treating a COVID-19 patient with horse deworming drug ivermectin, reversing a colleague's earlier decision to allow the treatment, because 'judges are not nurses or doctors'. 

Jeffrey Smith, 51, has been in the West Chester Hospital's intensive care unit since mid-July battling COVID-19 and has been on a ventilator for more than 30 days. 

After he was placed on a ventilator, his wife, Julie Smith, reached out to Dr. Fred Wagshul - who is listed as a founding physician of Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance and who promotes the horse deworming drug as treatment for the virus - for a prescription, according to The Washington Post.

When the doctors refused, Julie Smith took the hospital to court, and after a months-long battle a different Ohio judge ordered that he be administered the treatment. That order lasted 21 days. 

On Monday, Butler County Judge Michael A. Oster Jr. reversed the order and told the hospital to cease administering the unproven treatment.

He ruled that Julie and Wagshul - who is not affiliated with the hospital - did not provide 'convincing evidence' that the drug would help Jeffery, and said in his ruling that 'judges are not doctors or nurses.' 

Father of three, Jeffrey Smith, 51, has been in the West Chester Hospital's intensive care unit since mid-July battling COVID. He has been on a ventilator for over 30 days and was put under a medically induced coma on August 20

His wife, Julie, obtained a prescription for Jeffery to be treated with Ivermectin by an outside doctor but the medical staff at the hospital refused to administer the unproven treatment claiming it could interfere with his current treatment

His wife, Julie, obtained a prescription for Jeffery to be treated with Ivermectin by an outside doctor but the medical staff at the hospital refused to administer the unproven treatment claiming it could interfere with his current treatment

Julie filed a lawsuit against the hospital which she initially which ordered the hospital to administer the unproven treatment to her husband for 21 days

Julie filed a lawsuit against the hospital which she initially which ordered the hospital to administer the unproven treatment to her husband for 21 days

Jeffery, a father of three, tested positive for COVID on July 9 and admitted to the ICU less than a week later as his condition quickly deteriorated, according to the lawsuit.  

It's not clear whether he had been vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The hospital staff treated Jeffery with Remdesivir, plasma and steroids, which brought him to a 'period of relative stability,' court records state. But on August 20, Jeffery was put under a medically induced coma when his condition began to worsen again. 

That was when Julie reached out to Dr. Wagshul who prescribed the unproven treatment to Jeffery without seeing him, court records state. 

Julie then requested that her sick husband be given ivermectin but his doctors refused, insisting that the medication could negatively interfere with the medications he was already being given, the lawsuit claims. 

There was nothing left to be done, the doctors allegedly said. 

Julie claims that she offered to sign a release relieving the hospital and its doctors of any liability associated with the requested treatment, which the hospital contradicts in its response to the court. 

The determined wife took the issue to court and won on August 23 when Butler County Judge J. Gregory Howard ordered the hospital to treat Jeffery with 30 milligrams of Ivermectin daily for 21 days.  

But on Monday after 14 days of treatment, Julie, Dr. Wagshul and representation from the hospital all appeared back in court- this time in front of Oster. 

Oster denied Julie's request and ordered the hospital to cease administering the unproven treatment claiming that there was not sufficient proof the treatment was working and stating that 'judges are not doctors or nurses.'

Dr. Fred Wagshul prescribed the Ivermectin to Jeffery without seeing the patient. He does not have medical privileges at West Chester Hospital

Dr. Fred Wagshul prescribed the Ivermectin to Jeffery without seeing the patient. He does not have medical privileges at West Chester Hospital

On Monday, Butler County Judge Michael A. Oster Jr. reversed the original ruling and ordered the hospital to stop administering the unproven treatment to Jeffery

On Monday, Butler County Judge Michael A. Oster Jr. reversed the original ruling and ordered the hospital to stop administering the unproven treatment to Jeffery 

Dr. Wagshul testified that Jeffery's condition appeared to be improving but did not present any evidence. Oster wrote in his decision that Dr. Wagshul 'was only able to say that Smith 'seems to be' getting better after receiving ivermectin.'

Julie also claimed that she believes that the drug is working.  

When Oster asked if continued doses of the unproven treatment would benefit Jeffery, the doctor answered 'I honestly don't know,' according to court records. 

In his court order, Oster cited several public health organizations, including the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Disease Control, who have warned against the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID.

The FDA stated that the use of the drug to prevent or treat COVID 'is dangerous.' Yet the drug used to kill parasites in barn animals is being falsely touted as a treatment for COVID and has lead to an increasing amount of overdoses. 

Last month the FDA tweeted 'You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it.' 

The CDC issued a health advisory on August 26 stating that the treatment 'is not authorized or approved' and that adverse effects caused by 'misuse and overdose' has increased. 

Oster stated in his order, 'While this court is sympathetic to the Plaintiff and understands the idea of wanting to do anything to help her loved one, public policy should not and does not support allowing a physician to try 'any' type of treatment on human beings.'

Oster claimed that there was not enough evidence to prove that the Ivermectin had improved Jeffery's condition in the last two weeks

Oster claimed that there was not enough evidence to prove that the Ivermectin had improved Jeffery's condition in the last two weeks

The FDA and CDC have warned against using the 'dangerous' treatment to prevent or treat COVID suggesting that people wear mask and get vaccinated

The FDA and CDC have warned against using the 'dangerous' treatment to prevent or treat COVID suggesting that people wear mask and get vaccinated  

However, the judge did rule that Jeffery could be transferred to another hospital where Dr. Wagshul has medical privileges to continue the use of Ivermectin. 

Jonathan Davidson, an attorney representing Julie Smith, said to The Post 'Fortunately, Mr. Smith was able to receive 14 days of treatment of Ivermectin, during which time his condition did improve. While he has likely received his last dose at UC West Chester hospital, we can only hope his condition continues to trend positively.'

UC Health released a statement which read: 'At UC Health, 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.

'This news, while positive in support of respect for science and the expertise of medical professionals, does not change the fact that there are many people suffering from COVID-19 in our communities. We implore all members of the community to do what we know works: wear a mask, become fully vaccinated and use social distancing whenever possible.'