A Virginia hospital was held in contempt of court Monday after refusing to administer ivermectin to a woman who has been battling COVID-19 since early October.
What are the details?
Kathleen Davies, a 63-year-old northern Virginia woman, became severely ill with COVID in October, and she has been on a ventilator since Nov. 3.
Davies was prescribed ivermectin by her family doctor, but she could not complete her regimen upon being admitted to the Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton. That's because the northern Virginia hospital refused to administer the drug, "citing medical, legal and practical concerns," the Fauquier Times reported.
Davies' son, Christopher — who works at the hospital as a radiologist technician — urged the hospital to administer the drug as his mother's health declined and all other medical treatments had been exhausted. But the hospital continued to refuse.
So on Dec. 6, the Davies family took legal action to compel Fauquier Hospital to administer ivermectin. Just one day later, Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Jim Fisher agreed with the Davies family and ordered the hospital to administer the drug in compliance with the family's wishes. Shockingly, the hospital ignored the order.
"They believe it’s a fight between the rights of the hospital and the rights of citizens. They feel their rights trump her rights," Christopher Davies told the Fauquier Times.
The hospital claimed because none of its doctors "believe Ivermectin is in Ms. Davies’s best interests and all have refused to prescribe" and because Kathleen's doctor — Dr. Martha Maturi — did not have privileges to practice medicine at Fauquier Hospital, it could continue to ignore the court order.
But on Dec. 9, Fisher ruled that such a policy is not state law and again ordered the hospital to permit the administration of the drug in compliance with the family's wishes. Importantly, Fisher did not rule on the medical merits of ivermectin as effective treatment for COVID-19. But with all other treatment options exhausted, Fisher clearly sided with the family.
Still, the hospital refused to allow Maturi to administer ivermectin. And in a court filing on Monday, the hospital began raising objections to Maturi's medical qualifications and requested that she testify under oath.
The hospital said in its motion, in part:
Fauquier Medical Center requests that Dr. Maturi be made available to testify under oath regarding her qualifications, the discussions, steps taken and ultimate decision that she is unable to care for Mrs. Davies. Both parties have been working together to comply with the court’s order; however, as it stands, neither the hospital nor the plaintiff has been able to find a physician capable of assuming care for Mrs. Davies while she remains in critical condition in the ICU.
What did the judge's newest ruling say?
In a ruling on Monday, Fisher held the Fauquier hospital in contempt of court, ordered the administration of ivermectin, and imposed daily $10,000 fines retroactive to Dec. 9.
Fisher held the hospital in contempt for "needlessly interposing requirements that stand in the way of the patient’s desired physician administering investigational drugs as part of the Health Care Decisions Act and the federal and state Right to Try Acts."
"No good reason or good cause was given, other than convenience, for the need of a formal 'attending physician' when there are at least three physicians involved in the patient’s care. The relief herein can be accomplished without requiring anyone serving in the role of 'attending physician,'" the order explained.
Fisher gave the hospital until 9 p.m. on Monday to administer ivermectin, or he would levy additional fines.
Kathleen Davies was given ivermectin at 8:45 p.m.