Paul Marik, MD, one of the most highly published critical care physicians in the world and the Director of the ICU at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, was recently told by Sentara Healthcare that he could no longer administer a range of highly effective COVID-19 treatments to critically ill patients—the same treatments he has successfully used to reduce COVID deaths in the ICU by as much as 50%. The result of the prohibition has been a sharp increase in patient mortality. Because Dr. Marik can no longer stand by while patients needlessly die without proper treatment, he has filed a lawsuit to allow him and his colleagues to administer the combination of FDA-approved drugs and other therapies that has saved thousands of critically ill COVID-19 patients in the last 18 months.
The Complaint filed today in the Circuit Court for the City of Norfolk, Virginia states that Sentara Healthcare is “preventing terminally ill COVID patients from exercising their right to choose and to receive safe, potentially life-saving treatment determined to be appropriate for them by their attending physician.” Under Virginia law, every patient has the right to receive treatment deemed appropriate for them by their attending physician, and terminally ill patients have the right to try investigational medicines that their treating physician recommends. Through its arbitrary prohibition of the COVID-19 treatment protocol developed by Dr. Marik and his colleagues, Sentara is violating the law and unjustly depriving critically ill patients of lifesaving treatment.
“This case is about doctors, having the ability to honor their Hippocratic Oath, to follow evidence-based medicine, and to treat our patients the best we know how. Corporations and faceless bureaucrats should not be allowed to interfere with doctor-patient decisions, especially when it can result in harm or death.” according to Paul Marik, MD, chief, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, who practices in the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. “I refuse to watch another patient die from COVID-19 knowing that I was not allowed to give them proven treatments that could have saved their life.”
According to an accompanying declaration from a renowned critical care specialist recently recognized by the United Nations for his life-saving work, Joseph Varon, MD, the COVID-19 treatment protocol developed by Dr. Marik and his colleagues, called the “MATH+ Protocol,” has achieved at least a 50% reduction in deaths from the virus in the hospitals where he serves as Chief of Staff.
“The Sentara Healthcare System’s prohibition of the MATH+ protocol is a threat to every doctor and every patient in the U.S.,” said Pierre Kory, president and chief medical officer of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). “We know the protocol is effective. Patients who could have been saved by MATH+ are dying because of the hospital’s baseless restriction. We will continue to see more deaths that could have been prevented until the court takes action and orders the hospital to reverse course.”
The MATH+ protocol has been used all over the world to effectively treat patients with COVID-19. It is generally well-tolerated with no reports of adverse medical events. In its September 27 memo to employees, Sentara Healthcare System tried to justify prohibiting many of medications in the MATH+ protocol by claiming it “is not supported in peer-reviewed, published RCTs,” (Randomized Controlled Trials).
However, this claim is demonstrably false. Peer-reviewed published RCTs do support the use many of the medications Sentara has prohibited, including fluvoxamine and ivermectin.
“The FLCCC stands behind Paul 100%,” said Dr. Kory. “We take an oath as doctors to do no harm. I can’t think of a way of doing more harm to a patient than to not administer a treatment that you know can help them. No doctor should be forced to watch their patient die knowing that more could have been done to save them and that is exactly what Sentara is doing.”