Man whose wife sued Butler Co. hospital for Ivermectin treatment dies from COVID-19

BUTLER COUNTY — A Butler County man whose wife sued a West Chester hospital to force doctors to give him Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 has died, according to our news partners at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Butler County judge rules against forcing hospital to administer ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment

Jeffery Smith, of Fairfield Twp. died Sept. 25 after battling COVID-19, the station reported, citing Webster Funeral Home in Fairfield.

Smith’s case gained national attention after his wife, Julie, first sued the University of Cincinnati Health’s West Chester Hospital after he was admitted with COVID-19. Despite warnings from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical experts, Julie sought a court order to have Jeffery treated with the drug.

>> PREVIOUS: Judge orders West Chester Hospital to continue Ivermectin treatment prescribed by local doctor

On Aug. 23, Butler County Judge Gregory Howard ordered the hospital to give Jeffrey, who was on a ventilator, Ivermectin. After two days of hearings in early September, a second Butler County judge denied the preliminary injunction that forced the hospital to administer the drug.

In his decision, Judge Michael Oster wrote, “scientific communities do not support the use of Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID19,” the station reported.

The legal question was whether an injunction should be granted “to force a hospital to honor the prescription of a doctor that has not seen a patient and has no privileges at said hospital thus forcing the hospital to give ivermectin to a patient when the hospital’s doctors, the FDA, CDC, and the AMA do not believe ivermectin should be a recommended way to treat COVID-19,” according to court records.

Ivermectin is a drug, approved by the FDA, to treat infections caused by parasites. The drug is commonly used as a livestock de-wormer.

According to the FDA, for humans, “Ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms.” The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 and said it “has not been shown to be safe or effective.”

Julie testified in one of the court hearings said she wanted her husband to be treated with the drug because it gave her hope.

“I didn’t want to just sit there and let him die,” Julie said in her testimony, according to WCPO.

Jeffery had been prescribed the drug and treatment initially by Dr. Fred Wagshul, an instructor at Wright State University and pulmonologist in Centerville.

“The ivermectin that was prescribed is for human use, and is approved by the FDA to treat internal and external parasites,” court records read. “However, Dr. Wagshul prescribed the medication without having seen Jeff Smith and does not have privileges at West Chester Hospital.”