MADISON, WI – Today, the American Medical Association (AMA) and Wisconsin Medical Society filed a friend of the court brief in the Wisconsin Supreme Court in support of Aurora Health Care, Inc.—a hospital that was sued when its physicians refused to administer an ivermectin prescription to a COVID-19 patient. Citing their ethical and legal obligation to rely on evidence-based treatments for COVID-19, the physicians’ brief urges the Court to not “compel treatments that the medical consensus finds to be substandard,” like ivermectin, as doing so would force Wisconsin’s physicians into the untenable position of having “to choose between the law and their ethical duties, potentially exposing patients to harm and physicians to liability.” The AMA and the Wisconsin Medical Society are represented by Democracy Forward and Bell Moore & Richter, S.C.
The case, Gahl v. Aurora Health Care, Inc., is on appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court after a circuit court directed Aurora Health Care to either administer ivermectin to a patient or provide credentials to an outside physician for that purpose. In its review of the case, a court of appeals held in a 2-1 decision that the injunction should not have been issued for the patient. The AMA and the Wisconsin Medical Society’s brief urges the Wisconsin Supreme Court to affirm the Court of Appeals’ decision to relieve Wisconsin’s physicians of the unworkable burden placed on them by the Circuit Court’s order.
The AMA and Wisconsin Medical Society represent nearly 10,000 Wisconsin physicians, each of whom is ethically and legally bound to provide quality, evidence-based medical care to their patients. Over the past three years, those physicians have treated nearly 2 million Wisconsinites for COVID-19, a task greatly complicated by misinformation about COVID-19 and risky treatments touted as miracle cures, like ivermectin.
As the brief notes, the Food and Drug Administration has cautioned against taking ivermectin to treat COVID-19, and the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, and World Health Organization have also advised against treating COVID-19 with ivermectin, except in clinical trials. Ivermectin’s manufacturer has also stated that currently available data does not support the safety and efficacy of prescribing ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.
“Physicians should not be put in a position where they are hesitant to provide their patients with evidence-based care, ” said Skye Perryman, President and CEO of Democracy Forward. “As the physicians’ brief explains clearly, ivermectin is not a safe or effective treatment for COVID-19, which is why competent, law-abiding, and ethical physicians refuse to administer it to their patients. The Wisconsin Supreme Court should support these frontline heroes who simply want to do what is best for their patients and affirm the Court of Appeals’ decision to not require physicians to administer a treatment that they know to be substandard and potentially even harmful.”