September 08, 2021

Below is an update on the legal proceedings related to the Butler County Court decision on ivermectin administration we informed OSMA members about last week.

OSMA Members,

On Monday, the Butler County Court of Common Pleas declined the request for a preliminary injunction that would have required a local hospital to continue the administration of ivermectin to a patient in the ICU. The OSMA supports this correction to the previous order which compelled the hospital to administer the medication as prescribed by an outside physician who did not have privileges at the hospital.

While sympathizing with the position of patients and their families facing the devastating effects of COVID-19, this decision nonetheless correctly recognizes that Courts should not make medical decisions or mandate that physicians, hospitals and other healthcare providers sidestep established safety protocols and standards, patient care procedures, or rules regulating medicine including those related to the prescribing and administration of drugs.

The OSMA advocates for the sanctity of the physician patient relationship, including the right of physicians to prescribe a medication for an off-label use which, according to their best judgment, is in the best interest of the patient. However, according to the court documents for this case, the prescribing physician had not established a relationship with this patient, had not seen the patient, nor had he reviewed his chart.

Furthermore, courts should never be asked to override orders or refusals to issue orders by physicians with staff privileges at any hospital. There are safety protocols in place at hospitals that serve to protect patients and protect the authority of physicians to oversee patient care within the facility. Further, there are avenues for patients to be transferred to alternate facilities in cases where a patient’s wishes or treating physician orders cannot be carried out within a facility. Courts should not be involved in these processes, as this decision correctly asserts.

Read the Decision on the Preliminary Injunction >

For the past 175 years, we have represented the interest of our profession and our patients—and will continue to do so moving forward. Thank you as always for your support. Should you have any comments or concerns, please feel free to contact OSMA.


Egbert Lisa Sig
Lisa Bohman Egbert, MD
OSMA President