MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s conservative-controlled Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a hospital could not be forced to give a deworming drug to a patient with COVID-19.
The panel ruled 6-1 in favor of Aurora Health Care, with three liberals and three conservatives in support and only conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley dissenting.
The decision upholds a lower court’s ruling against Allen Gahl, who sued Aurora in October 2021 when doctors refused to treat his uncle, John Zingsheim, with ivermectin. Gahl was authorized to make medical decisions for Zingsheim and had researched the drug online after Zingsheim was put on a ventilator to treat COVID-19 complications.
The Waukesha County Circuit Court ordered hospital staff to give Zingsheim the drug but later modified its decision to say Gahl would have to provide the drug himself, as well as a doctor to administer it. An appeals court overturned that decision after Aurora’s attorneys argued a judge could not force a medical provider to give treatment they had determined to be substandard. The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case in January. Gahl had obtained a prescription for ivermectin from a retired doctor who had never met Zingsheim or his medical team.
Gahl was represented by the Amos Center for Justice, a conservative Wisconsin law firm that has brought litigation against ballot drop boxes and promotes conspiracy theories about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines on its website. His attorney, Karen Mueller, did not immediately return a voicemail Tuesday seeking comment.