LOUISVILLE , Ky. — A judge on Wednesday denied a request to force doctors at a Louisville hospital to treat a COVID-19 patient with the drug ivermectin.
Ivermectin is primarily used to treat parasites in livestock and is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for COVID-19.
Angela Underwood filed a lawsuit Sept. 9 in Jefferson County Circuit Court attempting to compel doctors at Norton Brownsboro Hospital to give her husband, Lonnie, the drug to treat COVID-19. Court records indicate she is representing herself in the case.
"As a Registered Nurse, I demand my husband be administered ivermectin whether by a Norton physician or another health care provider of my choosing including myself if necessary," Underwood wrote in her complaint, which was later amended to request her husband be treated with "intravenous vitamin c."
The judge's decision echoes that of an Ohio ruling this month that said a Cincinnati area hospital could not be compelled to administer ivermectin to a COVID-19 patient after doctors refused to use the drug.
Despite major medical groups and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioning against the use of ivermectin, use of ivermectin has spiked across the country as COVID-19 cases surge. The Kentucky Poison Control Center has said it has seen an increase in calls related to misuse of ivermectin.
Still, the drug has been promoted as a treatment by some prominent conservatives, including former President Donald Trump.
Underwood claimed the hospital would not allow her husband's doctor to treat her husband with the drug.
But according to the ruling, that doctor — who wrote an emergency privileges order to give the man ivermectin — did not have privileges at the hospital where Lonnie Underwood was being treated or at any hospital "providing care for critically ill COVID patients."
According to the hospital, the doctor "refused to come see his patient," Jefferson Circuit Judge Charles Cunningham wrote in the ruling. He added that the court "cannot require a hospital to literally take orders from someone who does not routinely issue such orders."
Cunningham wrote that Underwood could try to find a hospital that "believes in the efficacy of these therapies."
"This is impractical because it is likely that no such hospital in the United States, or certainly in this region, agrees with Plaintiff," Cunningham wrote. "Moreover, her husband's medical circumstances may make such a transfer unjustifiably risky."
Initially, Circuit Court Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman did order the hospital to treat Lonnie Underwood with ivermectin "if medically indicated and ordered by an appropriate physician," according to court records. Court records show the same judge granted on Tuesday an "emergency injunction to administer intravenous Vitamin C."
But Cunningham stepped in as judge when reconsidering the case due to a scheduling conflict with the other judge.
A spokeswoman for Norton Healthcare directed a reporter from the Courier Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, to the court ruling when asked for comment on the case.
Underwood did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Contributing: Christine Fernando, USA TODAY; Billy Kobin, Courier Journal
Follow Mary Ramsey on Twitter @mcolleen1996.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Ivermectin and COVID: Louisville judge denies Angela Underwood request