Hospital Sued for Wrongful Death After Patient Denied Ivermectin

A victory would set a precedent that could protect patient rights into the future.
Hospital Sued for Wrongful Death After Patient Denied Ivermectin
(Carl DMaster/Epoch Times)
Matthew Lysiak

The family of a woman who died after a hospital refused to treat her COVID-19 with ivermectin, despite a prescription by her doctor, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Scott Mantel, whose wife, Deborah Bucko, died on May 16, 2021, from complications of COVID-19 while in the care of Mount Sinai Hospital, filed the lawsuit in September, alleging that the hospital “repeatedly interfered with the doctor-patient relationship between Ms. Bucko and the infectious disease attending physician overseeing her treatment, specifically, by knowingly and deliberately impeding the doctor’s orders to treat Ms. Bucko with the potentially life-saving medication ivermectin, thereby depriving Ms. Bucko of a substantial chance of recovery and cure.” The hospital did not return a request for comment.

Ms. Bucko was admitted to the emergency room at the hospital on Feb. 28, 2021, after first experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, according to the complaint. Shortly after being admitted, Ms. Bucko’s condition worsened and she was transferred to the intensive care unit where she was placed on a ventilator. Her condition took a further turn for the worse when on April 1, doctors informed her husband that she had “little, if any, hope for recovery.”

According to the filing, Mr. Mantel “researched possible alternative treatments, and he read several news stories about patients with severe COVID-19 illness who had been treated successfully with ivermectin.”

Mr. Mantel was able to convince a doctor at the hospital to write a prescription for ivermectin. However, the prescription was first placed on hold “on the grounds that Mount Sinai Health System recommends against the use of ivermectin for covid-19,” before being rescinded the same day by the Hospital Stewardship Committee. Only after Mr. Mantel was able to receive a court order forcing the hospital to fill the prescription was his wife able to receive the treatment, during which time she showed improvements, according to the complaint.

“While she was being treated with the ivermectin and immediately afterwards, Ms. Bucko’s respiratory and cardiovascular functions showed significant improvement and she required significantly less oxygen, vasopressors, and ventilator support, which was clearly demonstrated in her medical records.

“As a result of the ivermectin, Ms. Bucko was on her way to recovery.”

However, after a second round of ivermectin was stopped on May 10, 2021, Ms. Bucko’s condition rapidly deteriorated, according to the filling. Mr. Mantel was preparing to return to court for a third time to get another emergency order for ivermectin when on May 16, 2021, Ms. Bucko died.

The lawsuit is seeking monetary compensation for her husband of fourteen years and along with her two surviving children, as well as punitive damages, claiming that “once the ivermectin had been prescribed by Ms. Bucko’s doctor, it was a breach of accepted standards of medical care for the hospital to withhold this clearly beneficial medication from her.”

The complaint continued: “Defendant’s wrongful and negligent conduct deprived Ms. Bucko of a substantial chance for recovery and cure and substantially contributed to her untimely death.”

Steven Warshawsky, who is representing Mr. Mantel in the lawsuit, told The Epoch Times that the actions of the hospital went against the best interest of the patient as well as breaching the doctor-patient relationship.

“Early on during the pandemic there were a lot of early legal actions seeking court orders requiring hospitals and doctors to treat patients with ivermectin, but here you have a situation where orders were issued and the hospital did not fully comply with them despite [the] patient showing progress of ivermectin,” said Mr. Warshawsky.

Ivermectin has been around for decades but became the center of controversy in 2020 after medical opinion became divided over its effectiveness as a treatment for COVID-19. In the aftermath, many pharmacists refused to fill prescriptions for the medication.

By 2023, the issue had made its way into a courtroom in a case brought by Dr. Mary Talley Bowden and other medical professionals when, on Aug. 8, a lawyer representing the FDA confirmed that doctors were free to prescribe ivermectin to treat COVID-19.

“FDA explicitly recognizes that doctors do have the authority to prescribe ivermectin to treat COVID,” Ashley Cheung Honold, a Department of Justice lawyer representing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

Despite statements from the FDA affirming that right to doctors, in an earlier interview Dr. Bowden told The Epoch Times many pharmacists nationwide are still refusing to fill prescriptions issued for ivermectin issued to patients for the treatment of COVID-19.

“This needs to come to an end. In telling my patients what medicines they can and cannot have access to, we effectively have a large group of pharmacists practicing medicine without a license,” Dr. Bowden said on Friday. “They have no accountability for this yet they are allowed to dictate patient care.”

“I see it every single day. Enough is enough,” Dr. Bowden added.

Mr. Warshawsky, who says a motion is due from the hospital later this month, says a victory for Mr. Mantel and his family would also set a precedent that could protect patient rights into the future.

“I am hoping to not only get a good result for Deborah and her family but certainly to lay a precedent which is that physicians cannot withhold life-saving treatments from their patients, not only in the case of ivermectin, but also with other medications that might not be standard protocol for hospitals,” said Mr. Warshawsky.

Matthew Lysiak is a nationally recognized journalist and author of “Newtown” (Simon and Schuster), “Breakthrough” (Harper Collins), and “The Drudge Revolution.” The story of his family is the subject of the series “Home Before Dark” which premiered April 3 on Apple TV Plus.
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