How Much Faith Do You Have In Louisiana’s Medical Establishment Right Now?

There was a report at Fox 8 Live in New Orleans last night which we found fairly eye-opening, as it’s of a piece with an unmistakable trend which has continued unbroken really since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Namely, that the medical establishment in Louisiana more and more looks as though it can’t be trusted with the health of the people of the state.

The Fox 8 story was essentially a hit piece on ivermectin, and it trotted out a doctor to trash the drug as worse than useless where the China virus is concerned. He called it “horse dewormer” and ridiculed people for seeking it. This was in the context of a lawsuit in St. Tammany Parish where the family of someone very sick with COVID got a judge to order a hospital to administer ivermectin, since nothing else the hospital was doing was working.

The hospital didn’t do it and the patient died.

Fox 8 typically lets the plaintiff side of a lawsuit like this drive its news coverage, but not where COVID is concerned. This piece cuts the other way entirely.

Medicine evolves and changes over the years, and infectious disease specialist, Brobson Lutz, M.D. says there’s a reason why medical professionals study and have this prescription power.

Case in point: Hadacol.

“People loved it, I mean 12% alcohol it’s bound to do something… Hadacol and Ivermectin as far as Covid is concerned are in the same category: useless,” said Lutz.

Lutz re-enforces what other medical professionals have said: that ivermectin is not a safe nor effective treatment for Covid 19.

“There’s no decent medical trial there’s no study that has shown ivermectin has any advantage whatsoever,” said Lutz.

He fears if a judge does not throw out an order, which said the St. Tammany Parish Hospital shall administer ivermectin to a dying patient, it will undermine medical professionals’ ability to treat patients.

“For a judge to stick his neck in a case and say, ‘hey, give this horse worming medicine to a patient because the family wants it,’ it just doesn’t bring right to me. It’s time to stop horsing around with horse medicine,” said Lutz.

Court documents show the patient, 64-year-old Charlette Ratley died from Covid in August before the hospital had time to respond or administer the drug.

The family petitioned for Ratley’s daughter, a PA, or physician’s assistant, to administer the drug.

The hospital system in documents says Ratley’s daughter did not have clinical privileges at the hospital.

An attorney for the family says she had a prescription for ivermectin, but the hospital responds in a petition saying they could not “verify the prescription” written by a pediatric specialist or “verify the prescribed dosage.”

Attorneys for the hospital continue arguing that the order “could be extended to clinical conditions other than Covid 19 resulting in far-reaching unintended dangerous consequences and precedent.”

You’ve got to read all the way to the bottom before you get to the plaintiff attorney’s comment – which is unusual; it’s almost always the case that the plaintiffs’ lawyer gets top billing in these kinds of stories. The lede is thus buried.

In a statement, the attorney for the patient, Rene Frederick says

“Lawyers across the country before me successfully and timely litigated this issue in other states and saved lives through court intervention ordering ivermectin in the face of strong medical opposition. How can the hospital see saving lives as a bad precedent during a pandemic? Doctors across the U.S. and world are using ivermectin to save Covid patients.”

We already know about the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where ivermectin is credited with dramatic results in reducing the impact of COVID on the population. They’re giving out ivermectin pills like PEZ candy there, and they say it works. It’s the exact opposite of what you hear from the government-medical complex in Louisiana.

There have been more than five dozen studies showing that ivermectin works to reduce symptoms and suffering with respect to COVID. A new pill-based COVID treatment Merck Pharmaceuticals is seeking approval to roll out is reportedly based on ivermectin, though there is dispute about that contention.

And ivermectin has been prescribed to humans for decades for lots of different ailments. It’s a common antiviral medication. In fact, the inventors of the drug were awarded a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2015 for the drug’s positive effects on treating humans. Like hydroxychloroquine, which last year was put under a similar slash-and-burn public relations campaign for the supposed dangers of its use, ivermectin has a long history of millions of uses with miniscule evidence of side effects. It is demonstrated to be a very safe and very effective drug.

So why is this Brobson Lutz character calling it horse dewormer on TV? And who is he, anyway?

If you’re in New Orleans you’ll recognize him, as he’s Fox 8’s Sanjay Gupta or Mark Segal. Lutz goes on their morning show all the time. He writes articles for New Orleans Magazine as well. And he’s the former New Orleans Director of Health, the position Dr. Jennifer Avegno currently holds. He had that job for thirteen years. Lutz now has a small Uptown New Orleans private concierge medicine practice in internal medicine and infectious diseases.

Despite the fact he’s doing concierge medicine, or maybe because of it, it’s safe to say this guy is about as medical establishment as you can get without being a doc at a big hospital. After all, with a bunch of Uptown socialite patients paying him a subscription in no small part, it’s likely, due to the fact they can say their doctor is on TV, the last thing Lutz can afford is to have it said that he’s “controversial” or not au courant.

But let’s remember something. This story was about a family desperately trying to save the life of a loved one who was dying in a hospital. The hospital obviously didn’t have the answer. They put Charlette Ratley on a ventilator; what else they did to her as she was dying, we don’t know. You would think that if the hospital had been aggressive in treating her they would have made damn sure to tell that judge and the news media covering the case all about the steroid inhalers and monoclonal antibody infusions, etc., that Charlette Ratley had received before they decided to put her on a vent.

What we understand about the ventilators is that better than three quarters of the people they put on a vent die. Talk to doctors and they’ll tell you whatever you do, no matter how sick you might get with COVID, don’t go on a vent. But – and if this isn’t true anymore we’ll apologize – for a good while at the beginning of all this China virus craze, hospitals were catching some $39,000 per patient on a ventilator from the federal government.

We aren’t the only ones thinking that the financial incentives here are not good vis-a-vis hospitals and patients.

Nobody is saying ivermectin would have saved Charlette Ratley’s life. It’s impossible to know that. But it’s a very good argument to say that in her condition ivermectin couldn’t possibly have done her any harm. That’s what the judge thought. He ordered ivermectin for her and the hospital refused and she died. Now the hospital wants the judge to rescind the order so the precedent won’t continue to stand and more patients don’t follow suit.

Again – she was being wheeled through death’s door. What harm could St. Tammany General Hospital do by giving ivermectin as a Hail Mary to a dying patient? The mind wanders to the possibilities.

What’s worse about this was that there was another hospital in St. Tammany Parish which was willing to administer ivermectin to Charlette Ratley, and the family wanted to transfer her there. But it was said that was impossible, because she was in too dire a condition to move her.

In the America we knew, this kind of thing would be sparking some pretty rude questions from the public and particularly from the news media. But that America doesn’t seem to exist, and particularly in Louisiana it’s gone. Fox 8 is supposed to be the TV station in New Orleans which does the bulk of the investigative journalism and asks the hard questions, but instead they glossed right over the inconsistencies and suspect narratives of the medical establishment.

Could it be that the fact all you see on local TV stations in Louisiana, when their commercial breaks don’t include trial lawyer ads, are spots for hospitals? Do you think that Big Hospital in Louisiana doesn’t leverage that for slavish media coverage?

And do you think that has something to do with how the Charlette Ratley case has been covered?

There’s a lot here. We could go on and on. But this case is an eye-opener, and it ought to prompt some rude questions about the real nature of the doctor-patient relationship, the effect of hospital finance on medical care, media corruption and what comes from having so much of our healthcare paid for out of the government till.

We suspect none of the answers to those questions are satisfactory. Nothing about the Charlette Ratley case is.

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