An Ohio hospital will no longer be legally compelled to treat a COVID-19 patient with the anti-parasite drug ivermectin. While the drug has recently become popular on the right as a remedy for COVID-19, such use is discouraged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency. ("The bottom line is that while ivermectin might have some marginal efficacy, it is certainly not a 'miracle drug' when it comes to treating COVID-19," writes Reason's Ron Bailey after reviewing the evidence.)
The case involves Ohio resident Jeffrey Smith, who was admitted to the West Chester Hospital, near Cincinnati, back in July. After his condition continued to worsen, wife Julie Smith obtained an ivermectin prescription for her husband from Fred Wagshul, a doctor unaffiliated with the hospital. When the hospital said it wouldn't treat Jeffrey Smith with ivermectin—which is used as a deworming drug in animals and also used to treat some parasitic infections in humans—Julie Smith sued, seeking an injunction against the hospital to make it administer ivermectin.
In an August 23 ruling, a judge held that the hospital must try the treatment. "West Chester Hospital shall immediately administer Ivermectin to Jeffrey Smith," Butler County Judge J. Gregory Howard wrote, issuing a 14-day temporary injunction.
But a new decision—from Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael A. Oster Jr.—reverses course. Oster said West Chester Hospital does not have to continue treating Smith with ivermectin.
"This Court is not making a decision on the effectiveness of ivermectin. Rather, the question is" whether Smith had "met her burden to be entitled to a preliminary injunction under Ohio law," wrote Oster in a decision issued yesterday. He didn't think Smith had.
"After Judge Howard's ruling, but before a hearing could be held before Judge Oster, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Medical Association (AMA), American Pharmacists 'Association (APhA) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) all issued statements or advisories against the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19," the judge pointed out. And "while there are some doctors and studies that tend to lend support to ivermectin…the studies that tend to give support to ivermectin have had inconsistent results, limitations to the studies, were open label studies, were of low quality or low certainty, included small sample sizes, various dosing regimens, or have been so riddled with issues that the study was withdrawn." It's clear "the medical community does not support the use of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 at this time."
"What is more, at the hearing, Plaintiff's own witness, Dr. Wagshul was only able to say that Jeff Smith 'seems to be' getting better after receiving ivermectin," noted Oster. "Wagshul further testified that 'I honestly don't know' if continued use of ivermectin will benefit Jeff Smith."
"If it is not an effective treatment, then this court cannot find by clear and convincing evidence that an irreparable injury will occur without the injunction," the judge concluded. "What is more, based upon the testimony, Jeff Smith is capable of being safely and medically appropriately moved to a hospital where Dr. Wagshul has privileges. If continued use of ivermectin under Dr. Wagshul's treatment regimen is desired, Plaintiff has this as an available option without the need of intervention by a court."
Kelly Martin, a spokesperson for the hospital, called the ruling "positive." She told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "We do not believe that hospitals or clinicians should be ordered to administer medications and/or therapies, especially unproven medications and/or therapies, against medical advice."
On Title IX and student-professor relationships. Amia Srinivasan, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford, has penned an interesting essay on student-faculty relationships for The New York Times. Srinivasan delves into the history of prohibitions on such relationships and the cases for and against such prohibitions. Her own opinion:
The problem, I think, with many teacher-student relationships is not that they don't involve consent — or even real romantic love. Sometimes, no doubt, students agree to have sex with their professors, as Ms. Vinson said she did with her boss, because they are afraid of what will happen if they don't. But there are also many students who consent to sex with their professors out of genuine desire. As defenders of teacher-student relationships like to remind us, many professors are married to former students (as if we were in a Shakespearean comedy, in which all that ends in marriage ends well). The question, I want to suggest, isn't whether genuine consent or real romantic love is possible between teachers and students. Rather, it is whether, when professors sleep with or date their students, real teaching is possible.
Srinivasan notes that "there is a case to be made that even genuinely consensual professor-student relationships, while not instances of sexual harassment, can constitute sexual discrimination, outlawed by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972." But she rejects this solution:
To say that a case can be made is not to say that we should necessarily make it. In the United States especially, feminists have often reached to the law as an instrument of social transformation. The ability of women today to sue employers who harbor abusive bosses or to report domestic partners to the police is a result of the feminist mobilization of the law in service of gender justice. But that mobilization has sometimes had unintended, and worrying, consequences….
The law has its limits on campus, too. The Office for Civil Rights, which administers Title IX, does not publish racial statistics for allegations of Title IX violations. Title IX requires schools to appoint officers to protect students from discrimination on the basis of sex but not from discrimination on the basis of race, sexuality, immigration status or class. Thus, as a matter of Title IX law, it is of no concern that, during at least two recent academic years, the small minority of Black students at Colgate University, an elite liberal arts college in upstate New York, have been disproportionately targeted for sexual violation complaints and that no notes are kept on where else this might be happening.
Given the lack of data, we cannot know for certain that Title IX disproportionately affects marginalized groups, but there is good reason to think that it might.
Abortion snitching site can't find web host. Web hosting companies GoDaddy and Epik have both booted a website designed to help people snitch on Texas women who get abortions. The website—prolifewhistleblower.com—was maintained by Texas Right to Life. "After hosting provider GoDaddy booted the group from its platform last week, the site's registration changed to list Epik, a Web hosting company that has supported other websites that tech companies have rejected, such as Gab and 8chan," notes The Washington Post:
The site went offline Saturday, however, after the domain registrar told the Texas organization that lobbied for the abortion ban that it had violated the company's terms of service. After speaking with Epik, which never hosted the site, Texas Right to Life agreed to remove the form, Epik general counsel Daniel Prince said Monday. By late Saturday, the website had redirected to Texas Right to Life's main page.…Prince said Epik would no longer offer its services if the group continues to collect private information about third parties through its digital tip line.
• Buckle up: President Joe Biden is scheduled to talk on Wednesday about the next phase of the government's pandemic response.
• How 9/11 changed the Democratic Party.
• "The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, led policy makers to embark on one of the largest spending binges in federal government history," writes Byron Tau for The Wall Street Journal. A look, two decades on, at what this spending has fueled.
• After the Supreme Court rejected the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's eviction moratorium, New York state's government has extended its own eviction ban through January 15, 2022. "The new ban raises fresh constitutional issues, so the Justices may get another bite at this big apple," suggests the Wall Street Journal editorial board.
• See Cathy Reisenwitz's full thread for a rundown of why Catharine A. MacKinnon is wrong about OnlyFans and online porn:
Notorious SWERF Mackinnon can't make it two sentences without lying. Porn does not desensitize the average consumer to violence. In fact, porn consumption has correlated to decreased violence against women. Shame on @nytimes for publishing https://t.co/gpKjvY6B0q
— Cathy Reisenwitz???? (@CathyReisenwitz) September 7, 2021
• Meanwhile, in France:
Earlier this year the French government snuck an anti-porn clause within a 'domestic abuse' law.
Anti-porn groups said 'don't worry, our victory was only symbolic.'
Well, they just sued all the major French internet service providers demanding they block the main porn sites: https://t.co/KG8H9U3BdZ
— Gustavo Turner (@GustavoTurnerX) September 3, 2021
• The proposed spending bill that Democrats want would be "a cradle-to-grave reweaving" of the U.S. social safety net, notes The New York Times. "To critics, the legislation represents a fundamental upending of American-style governance and a shift toward social democracy. With it, they worry, would come European-style endemic unemployment and depressed economic dynamism."
• El Salvador is adopting bitcoin as a legal tender. "El Salvador has just bought it's [sic] first 200 coins," tweeted President Nayib Bukele on Monday, adding that the country's brokers would "be buying a lot more."
• "Maria Kolesnikova, one of the leaders of mass street protests against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko last year, was sentenced on Monday to 11 years in prison," reports Reuters. "Kolesnikova and another senior opposition figure, Maxim Znak, were charged with extremism and trying to seize power illegally. Both denied wrongdoing and Kolesnikova called the charges absurd."
• In Richmond, Virginia, a six-story-tall, 12-ton statue of Robert E. Lee is set to come down this week.
• A billionaire is hoping to create an American city from scratch in the desert.