Three hospitals in California face lawsuits alleging they treated patients with the controversial antiviral drug remdesivir without receiving informed consent, using a protocol which two attorneys allege led to wrongful death.
Daniel Watkins with Watkins & Letofsky and Michael Hamilton with Hamilton & Associates filed three complaints—one against Saint Agnes Medical Center, Community Regional Medical Center, and Clovis Community Medical Center—in the Superior Court of California in Fresno County on Sept. 7.
Clovis Medical Center Community Medical Center, Community Regional Medical Center, and Saint Agnes Medical Center told The Epoch Times that they couldn’t comment on pending litigation.
Watkins said they filed the lawsuits on the behalf of 14 Fresno-area families who allege that the hospitals engaged in medical deception and failed to provide informed consent in relating the potential side effects, such as kidney failure.
“Full informed consent means that patients must be provided with full information about the deadly harm that this dangerous experimental drug causes on its own,” the lawsuit states. “They must be told that the only time it was ever tested, it was pulled because it killed so many people.”
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has said it’s the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID-19.
“Remdesivir received Emergency Use Authorization in or around May of 2020, after being recommended by an NIH panel that contained nine individuals with financial ties to its creator, Gilead Sciences,” the lawsuit alleges. “It is very nearly the equivalent of a death sentence for a COVID patient, or a patient with real Pneumonia (as opposed to ‘covid pneumonia’).
Without receiving informed consent before giving remdesivir, the hospitals violated the Nuremberg Code, the lawsuit states, which criminalizes human experimentation performed without informed consent.
The Remdesivir ProtocolThe lawsuit alleges that the patients were subjected to what it called “The Remdesivir Protocol,” which varies in each hospital.
“A patient comes to the hospital often for a problem unrelated to COVID-19,” the lawsuit says. “They are told they have COVID-19 or ‘COVID pneumonia.’”
From there, they are separated from loved ones and placed in a room where they are told remdesivir is the only option, the lawsuit says.
“They are placed on a BiPap machine at a high rate, making it difficult for them to breathe,” the lawsuit says. “Their hands are often tied down so they can’t take the BiPap machine off their face.”
In many cases, the lawsuit says a psychiatrist will determine the patient agitated, which results in the sedation of the patient, making it difficult for them to fight the side effects of remdesivir “especially as it relates to their ability to breathe against the side effects and against the BiPap machine.”
“Their phone and the signaling instrument for the nurse are typically placed beyond their reach,” the lawsuit alleges.
The patients are also kept malnourished, and eventually intubated, the lawsuit states, where the patient then dies.
“It takes a ‘protocol patient’ about nine days to die on average,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit goes on to address federal financial incentives the hospital gets for each step in the protocol.
Hamilton, who is also a legal strategist with the medical, constitutional, and spiritual rights organization Truth for Health Foundation spearheaded by Dr. Lee Vliet, discussed what he said was the financial reward system for the protocols in the conference.
“What I’m going to speak about is the average charge rate for three categories of COVID victims,” Hamilton said.
If a patient is treated and sent home, the average charge rate in California is $3,200, he said.
“If you bring them into the hospital and treat them as a non-complex COVID patient, the average charge rate is $111,000,” he said. “However, if you treat them as a complex COVID patient, which means you have to either intubate them, or put them in intensive care, by definition they become complex, and for that the average charge rate is roughly $450,000.”
On top of these charges, the hospitals get a bonus from the government by way of the International Classification of Diseases code that allows them to charge an extra 20 percent on the entire hospital stay, adding $90,000 to the $450,000.
Personal AutonomyThe four causes of action listed in the lawsuit are fraudulent concealment leading to wrongful death, violation of the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, medical negligence leading to wrongful death, and medical battery leading to wrongful death, all of which are related to the allegation that the hospitals failed to adequately treat the patients.
During the conference, Watkins said they filed the lawsuit “in hopes that it will spark the filing of many others because there are healthcare professionals and facilities across [nation] this doing this.”
“Fundamentally, personal autonomy in medical decisions is a right that we all have, and that’s the real issue here,” Watkins said.