Can Hospitals Be Forced To Administer Ivermectin?
Some folks believe that ivermectin is a good treatment for COVID-19. Doctors and other health care experts caution that there is no evidence that the anti-parasitic drug is effective against a virus. Further, they say that there are considerable dangers related to taking the drug as a prophylactic. These include serious risks related to blood pressure and death.
The law here is quite clear. The courts have no jurisdiction to force a hospital to give patients treatment against the hospital’s will. Further, the hospitals may not have any real choice but to deny patients ivermectin treatments. In this article, we’ll discuss why a hospital would never give patients ivermectin.
Why won’t hospitals administer ivermectin?
If a patient asks for something, why not just give it to them? Because all hospitals have a duty of care to follow established and prevailing medical procedures in the treatment of their patient. Since ivermectin is not established as the prevailing standard of care, if something went wrong and the patient died, the hospital and doctor would be responsible even if the patient demanded the ivermectin and even if they signed some form of medical waiver.
That’s because even if a patient demands ivermectin, the hospital is responsible for the outcome. If the patient suffers a serious complication, then even if the patient requested the medication, the hospital can still be sued by that same patient. Right now, there is no legislation that requires hospitals to provide patients with a standard of care that is not in keeping with the industry standard. A hospital could conceivably require the patient to sign a waiver of their rights to sue the hospital, but the enforceability of such waivers has not yet been thoroughly vetted in court. As such, even if a patient signs a waiver, the hospital still shoulders significant risk that it will not prohibit a lawsuit.
Why can’t you consent to a non-standard treatment?
Let’s say you believe that you are impervious to burn injuries because you are “the blood of the dragon” and “dragons cannot be killed by fire”. You run into a burning house to prove your point. Others watch with bated breath to see if you will come out unburnt. Unfortunately, you burn. Did you consent or agree to be burned? No. You consented to risk being burned only on the basis of a false belief that you would not be burned. In fact, your belief was so misguided that it made consent impossible.
In medical terms, this is related to informed consent. While many in the medical field believe that the average person doesn’t understand the situation well enough to truly consent to medical intervention, consent remains a major ethical issue for the medical industry at large. While you can, usually, say no to medical treatment, you cannot, on the other hand, demand specific treatment. The doctor has to be willing to administer such treatment and liability laws create too much risk around giving misguided patients what they want.
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