On December 7, Democracy Forwarded represented the American Medical Association (“AMA”) and Wisconsin Medical Society in filing 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 patient. 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.

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. 

Citing their ethical and legal obligation to rely on evidence-based treatments for COVID-19, the physicians’ brief urges the Supreme 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.” As the brief explains, Wisconsin’s physicians rely on evidence-based treatments and avoid untested ones, like ivermectin, that may compromise patient health. 

As the brief notes, the Food and Drug Administration has cautioned against taking ivermectin–a drug approved and intended for treatment of certain parasitic infections–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. 

Bell Moore & Richter, S.C. served as local co-counsel in submitting the brief on behalf of the AMA and Wisconsin Medical Society.

Read the brief here. Click here to download our one pager to learn more about this case. 

Last Updated: December 8, 2022