The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
From the opinion, released yesterday:
[T]he available data does not justify filing disciplinary actions against physicians simply because they prescribe ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19. If, on the other hand, healthcare providers neglect to obtain informed consent, deceive their patients, prescribe excessively high doses, fail to check for contraindications, or engage in other misconduct, they might be subject to discipline. But based on the evidence that currently exists, the mere fact of prescribing ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 will not result in our office filing disciplinary actions….
Based on the available data, we do not find clear and convincing evidence that a physician who first obtains informed consent and then utilizes ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 violates the UCA [Uniform Credentialing Act]. This conclusion is subject to the limits noted throughout this opinion. Foremost among them are that if physicians who prescribe ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine neglect to obtain informed consent, deceive their patients, prescribe excessively high doses, fail to check for contraindications, or engage in other misconduct, they might be subject to discipline, no less than they would be in any other context.
As we have stressed throughout, this opinion is based only on the data and information available at this time. If the relevant medical evidence materially changes, that could impact our conclusions. Also, though an opinion from our office about possible UCA violations would ordinarily focus on healthcare practices within Nebraska, the context of a global pandemic necessitates looking for evidence far beyond our State's borders, as we have done here. Thus, the analytical roadmap in this opinion likely has limited application outside the circumstance of a global pandemic….
[O]ur office is not recommending any specific treatments for COVID-19. That is not our role. There are multiple treatment options outside the scope of this opinion—including treatments that have been officially approved by the FDA—that physicians and their patients should carefully consider. This opinion takes no position on them.
Rather, we address only the off-label early treatment options discussed in this opinion and conclude that the available evidence suggests that they might work for some people. Allowing physicians to consider these early treatments will free them to evaluate additional tools that could save lives, keep patients out of the hospital, and provide relief for our already strained healthcare system.
The opinion is long and highly detailed, with detailed analyses of various other agencies' views on the matter; I can't speak to whether or not it's correct, but if you're interested in the subject, it's worth reading, and I expect that it will prove important, not just in Nebraska. Thanks to James Creigh for the pointer.