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Court of Chancery of Delaware
September 23, 2021, Submitted; September 24, 2021, Decided
C.A. No. 2021-0804-MTZ
[*425] ZURN, Vice Chancellor.
This Court has been asked to compel a healthcare provider to treat a hospitalized COVID-19 patient with ivermectin. Ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for [*426] parasitic disease. While some providers are administering ivermectin to COVID-19 patients due to its anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, it is not part of the standard of care for the COVID-19 virus. Upon admission to the hospital, the patient in this case expressed a desire to be treated with ivermectin. As the patient's health declined, his wife sought out and obtained a prescription from a doctor who never met the patient, and who is not affiliated with the hospital. Consistent with its guidelines, the hospital refused to administer the ivermectin prescription. Because the patient was hospitalized in isolation due to his infectious disease, the [**2] only avenues to effectuate delivery of ivermectin were through discharge against medical advice, and through a court order. After trying the first avenue and then returning to the hospital, the patient's wife has joined a legion of plaintiffs seeking to compel hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients with ivermectin.
This precedential opinion denies the requested injunction. The evidentiary proceedings before this Court focused on ivermectin's safety and efficacy, with the hospital explaining why ivermectin is not part of the standard of care and the plaintiff arguing why it should be. But this opinion denies the injunction based on two more fundamental, and reciprocal, precepts. Patients, even gravely ill ones, do not have a right to a particular treatment, and medical providers' duty to treat is coterminous with their standard of care. This court will wield its equitable powers only to enforce a right or duty; in their absence, relief is not available. The patient has this Court's sincerest sympathies and best wishes, but not an injunction.
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263 A.3d 423 *; 2021 Del. Ch. LEXIS 221 **; 2021 WL 4343661
MARY ELLEN DeMARCO, as attorney in fact for DAVID DeMARCO, Plaintiff, v. CHRISTIANA CARE HEALTH SERVICES, INC., Defendant.
ivermectin, patients, injunction, standard of care, mandatory, guidelines, disease, healthcare, prescription, prescribed, injunctive relief, hospitalized, efficacy, treating, healthcare provider, irreparable harm, medicine, provider, studies, preliminary injunction, self-determination, health-care, medication, ventilator, effective, recommend
Civil Procedure, Injunctions, Grounds for Injunctions, Balance of Hardships, Remedies, Mandatory Injunctions, Preliminary & Temporary Injunctions, Likelihood of Success, Torts, Negligence, Duty, Standard of Care, Healthcare Law, Healthcare Litigation, Actions Against Healthcare Workers, Doctors & Physicians, Business & Corporate Compliance, Medical Treatment, Healthcare Law, Medical Treatment, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation