Dr. Paul Marik – FLCCC’s founding member details lawsuit against his employer
Dr. Paul Marik: Lawsuit filed as hospital handcuffs doctors’ ability to save dying Covid-19 patients
Dr. Paul Marik, M.D., FCCM, FCCP, is a Professor of Medicine who has been treating Covid-19 patients in a critical care setting. He joins WCH’s General Assembly meeting to discuss his lawsuit against Sentara Healthcare System after they instituted a policy preventing him and other physicians from administering proven, life-saving treatments.
Legal filing: Dr. Paul Marik v. Sentara Healthcare
This is an edited segment from the weekly live General Assembly on November 15, 2021.
[00:00:00] [00:00:30] Shabnam Palesa Mohamed: To begin then with Dr. Paul Marik, who needs very little introduction to those of us who know and love him very well, the man, the legend, and ay with his roots here in the African continent, very proudly so Dr. Paul Marik, from the FLCCC, over to you. [00:00:48] Dr. Paul Marik: Thank you my dear. Thanks for that introduction. Unfortunately, the story I’m going to tell is a most unfortunate story. And I’m not sure really where to start. So maybe I’ll start at the beginning. So in March of 2020 basically there was a void in the treatment of COVID. All the major medical organizations had failed to put together a treatment approach for COVID. [00:01:13] So I put together what was then the EVMS treatment guideline. And then basically it grew with some colleagues into the FLCCC. We developed the MATH+ protocol, which has evolved. So at that time basically if you remember the treatment that the WHO was promoting was supportive care, so that patients would come to the ICU, treatment was supportive, the mortality was 80%, and we knew that was ridiculous and absurd and just unethical. [00:01:48] So we knew this was an inflammatory disease. So we started using corticosteroids in March. And if you remember at that time, the WHO, the NIH, the CDC, the FDA all said corticosteroids are contraindicated in a SARS-CoV-2, but we knew they were wrong. [00:02:10] A few months later, we then added heparin or low molecular weight heparin because we knew there was a major element of clotting and it took a year for the world to recognize that anticoagulation was important. And I should go back to steroids, six months later, the study in the UK came out supporting the use of steroids. So basically that’s how this kind of started. And our protocol has grown as the science has grown. In October last year, we identified ivermectin, we could see the signal and we began, you know, became interested in ivermectin and started recommending ivermectin for the use of SARS-CoV-2. [00:02:55] And and then I suppose we then shifted gear from in hospital treatment to I-MASK protocol, because we realized the only way to control this disease was to treat it early. The NIH, and that’s still there, the recommendation is not to treat these people for, to let them go home and they should stay home until they go blue and can’t breathe and then go to hospital, which is clearly outrageous. [00:03:22] So we developed a number of treatment protocols for early at home treatment and prophylaxis. So that’s a brief review. So I’m an intensivist. I work in the ICU, my hospital banned the use of ivermectin in May of last year, but I was able to work around it. We still use corticosteroids and many of the other medications, and I think we were doing a really good job. [00:03:50] One of the keys as people know, is early treatment. The later patients come in the course of their disease, the more difficult it is to reverse. They develop a profound pulmonary inflammatory disease. This is not ARDS, this is a macrophage mediated, profound inflammation. And the earlier you treat them the better they do. [00:04:12] So anyway, so we were going along and doing reasonably well. And then for reasons that are somewhat still mysterious to me on October the sixth, the healthcare system sent out an email to the whole healthcare system, but it was directed directly at me. We were using, we had a protocol had evolved to include, fluvoxamine and anti-androgen therapy because Delta is a vicious virus. [00:04:44] And we found that, corticosteroids and heparin alone just doesn’t cut it. And adjuvant therapy because these people were doing really badly. So we know we added fluvoxamine and some anti-androgen therapy. And as these are off-label drugs, but they are safe and effective and have been demonstrated to be effective in randomized controlled trials. [00:05:07] And we use Vitamin C. Anyway, on May 6th of October, the health care system that I work at and basically they run 16 or 18 hospitals in the area. They could have like the big, the big elephant and they, they do what they want to do. They basically put out this memo, which had a, do not endorse section that includes medications that may cause harm. And the efficacy, safety is not supported in peer reviewed, published RCTs. These medications will not be verified or dispense for prevention or treatment of COVID. And the list includes ivermectin, bicalutamide, [inaudible] Finasteride, and then they said a scoping as vitamin C is not dose for the prevention or treatment of COVID. [00:06:00] So essentially they tied my hands. What they want me to use is Remdesivir. So Remdesivir is forefront in this treatment protocol. And as we know four recent randomized controlled trials demonstrate that Remdesivir prolongs hospital length of stay, it increases complications, increases renal failure and does not improve patient outcome. [00:06:26] So they want me to use this $3,000 drug, which does not improve patient outcome, and yet the safe effective off-label medications, which we know work, were banned. So it really put me in a terrible situation. Cause I’m the bedside physician. The bedside physicians ultimately responsible for the care of this patient. [00:06:50] So prior to going into the ICU, I spoke to some lawyers and asked them, what do I do? And they said there’s nothing you can do. You just gotta go to work, do your best and just keep a record of what happens. So that’s exactly what happened. So the week of 25, 5th of October, I went to work. I had seven COVID patients or who had failed Remdesivir and low dose dexamethazone on the floor. [00:07:15] So these people came to the ICU because they had failed. They had failed this absurd therapy, which doesn’t work. So obviously continuing ineffective therapy doesn’t work. You’ve got to do something you’ve got to add, but I was prohibited from adding any of the medications that I usually add. So I sat by idly watching my patients die. [00:07:39] So out of the seven patients, four died including a 32 year old woman who I just had to watch die, because I was not allowed to intervene. Of the remaining three patients, I think two have already died. One has a pig tube, a tracheostomy, is encephalopathic, and probably they’re going to withdraw care. [00:08:03] So basically a hundred percent mortality. At the end of the week, I was devastated. In my entire medical career I’d never faced a situation like this, where I wasn’t able to intervene to help my patients. [00:08:17] Now, whether they would have survived or not, I don’t know. But at least as a treating physician, I should have been given the opportunity to do everything in my power to save their life. [00:08:29] And I was prohibited from doing this. It was devastating. I sent an email to my chair, basically explaining to him what happened and say, you know what, I’m desperate. I don’t know what to do. I’m depressed. I’m anxious. I’m scared. And to this day, he has not responded to the email. [00:08:47] So I already had two options. The one was to quit or the second was to file a suit against these horrible people. And fortunately enough, I was able to get a group of lawyers who were equally as outraged as I was over this episode. They saw the memo, they saw the email to my chair and basically decided, you know what? We can’t let this happen. [00:09:14] I’ve been practicing medicine for 35 years. It’s the bedside doctor who decides the treatment the patient gets. That’s the standard of care around the whole world. The doctor’s responsible for the patient’s care. We’re not telling the doctor what to do, but he’s the one that ultimately takes responsibility for the patient and determines their care. [00:09:37] So that’s why we filed suit against this evil institution. And obviously we’ll see what happens that, they arguing back with stupid legal, legalese. They’re not disputing the facts that try to throw the case out of court on, based on ridiculous legal arguments. [00:09:56] So the case will be heard on this Thursday and I suppose we’ll see what happens. [00:10:03] And unfortunately what’s happened to me is, it is a mirror of what’s happening in the US, and I a suppose, the rest of the world. That corporations and hospitals are telling doctors how to practice medicine. This is, this just goes against the Hippocratic principle of medicine. And, when you look at off-label drugs, the FDA is quite clear, absolutely clear on this: is that, prior to COVID, they actually encouraged doctors to use liberally, FDA approved drugs off label. [00:10:40] You do not require informed consent, and you were able to do this. And, up to 40% of drugs used in the hospital are off label, one of the best examples is amiodarone. This is an antiarrhythmic drug used to treat ventricular arrhythmias. It was found to be useful for atrial arrhythmias, and it’s now standard of care, but it’s being used off label. [00:11:05] Nobody ever asks the patient for informed consent before they use amiodarone. So it, unfortunately COVID has turned the world upside down. And I suppose what we’re going to see where this goes. [00:11:18] So that’s a brief overview of this ridiculous situation that I’m in. I’m doing this, not for me because you know I’m old, I’m decrepit. For physicians and patients across the country and across the world to make the point that they’re interfering with the sacred doctor-patient relationship. [00:11:39] And it’s the doctor who decides what type therapy patients get. It’s not hospitals or the FDA or the CDC, it’s the doctor. He’s in charge of the patient. He takes responsibility. He’s the only one that should be able to decide on his patients treatment. And we’re not telling patient or physicians what to prescribe, that’s their prerogative. [00:12:04] So there’s really a summation of this awful situation. [00:12:10] Dr. Tess Lawrie: Thanks very much, Dr. Marik. [00:12:12] Shabnam Palesa Mohamed: I just wanted to say, for us, for many of us, you are the epitome of compassion and courage and the steps you’ve taken to institute legal action, that stand, is a beacon of hope. And courage is contagious. With that being said, over to you, Tess. [00:12:28] Dr. Tess Lawrie: Yes. Yeah. It’s just, I’m just absolutely in awe of, the courage and bravery and absolutely how traumatic it must have been this past year knowing you have all these tools at your disposal, but but it being hamstrung one way or the other, as you say, your hands tied behind your back. I’m sure there are just many doctors here and, and watching who can empathize with that. But perhaps haven’t had the exposure that you have because in ICU, you seeing the very sickest patients. [00:12:58] We have a number of questions in the chat for you. Firstly, many people just saying, you’re exceedingly brave and thank you for coming forward. There’s a question from Charles Kovess: what are the legal causes of action pleaded by the lawyers? [00:13:12] Dr. Paul Marik: Yeah. There are a lot of legal pleadings that they’re using, many of which I don’t really understand, it’s legalese stuff. [00:13:20] I think they, there was a decision in North Carolina and was supported by the federal court that basically says that the treating physician has ultimate responsibility for treating the patient and not the hospital, unless the hospital can show that the physician is negligent or being harmful to the patient. [00:13:41] So that’s one of the legal aspects. The other is the right for patients to decide the treatment that they want because ultimately this treatment is being forced upon them by the hospital without really informing them. And without giving them the opportunity to make the decision. One of the things that they’ve created is a COVID advanced directive, which is interesting thing. [00:14:10] And we’ve had 50 local people sign this document, which we’ve presented to the court, stating that if they get COVID, this is the treatment that they want. Most people think of advanced directives as things that you don’t want. You don’t CPR, you don’t want intubation, but advanced directives actually work the other way as well. [00:14:31] You can indicate in your advanced directive, what treatments you do want. And these people have indicated, yes, they want to be treated with the math plus protocol, which includes ivermectin and corticosteroids and fluvoxamine. So that’s going to be the second kind of legal test, whether the junior court will uphold this COVID 19 advanced directive, which allows the patient to decide what treatment they want. [00:15:01] So if you want to, a lot of the legal arguments, I’m just a regular doctor. I don’t understand all of this legally, but if you go to our website, FLCCC.net, there is a link to actually the legal filing, which is somewhat interesting. These are very smart lawyers, and I’ve applied some very interesting legal arguments. [00:15:24] And I think people can look at it. And obviously at first I was a little bit reticent, but we do have an email address of the stupid hospital, interesting, the ethics committee. And if people want to email them and tell them how outrageous this is, that would be fine because, this is nothing more than her personal harassment and interfering, and people are dying and they seem completely dissociated from the fact that we’re talking about people’s lives here, it’s truly astonishing. There’s another question. David Singleton says, I’ve heard you say during another cool that another common off-label drug has aspirin when used as a blood center, is that the case seems like a well-known example that we should be using a folks with. Yeah, so that doesn’t think we include aspirin in our protocol. [00:16:15] Absolutely. And obviously it’s being used off label, so we don’t ask for informed consent. It was not on the list of medications that was banned, but I’m sure as I started navigating around this stupid list, the list would have grown. What is truly astonishing is that this email, which went out to the PI healthcare system basically was targeting me. [00:16:38] That’s how childish it was. And, rather than being an adult and coming to me and say, Hey, it looks like you using these medications. Why are you using them? Can you explain it to us? No. They just decided to use their power and influence and completely transmittance me. There’s a question about the families of the deceased you mentioned are they pressing criminal and civil charges? [00:17:03] Yeah. So we have to be careful about this cause this, HIPAA laws in the us, which is, protecting patient’s privacy. So we ha I’m not allowed to contact them and tell them, but I’m sure it will become public knowledge in because there were seven people who died who should not have died, and I’m sure that they will have the potential to file a wrongful death suit. [00:17:29] So we’ll have to see how this evolves. I think a lot will depend on the judge’s decision on Thursday. Unfortunately, it’s up to a single judge and it depends upon the way he used this. I think this is the beginning of the journey. Clearly they want to get rid of me, but that’s not going to happen that, that easily. [00:17:52] There’s something, that’s a question that Janet inhibits asked given that People are not going to get the help they need an ICU. Can you recommend how families can help the loved ones be removed from a hospital when they been directed to the ICU that I’m not treating them effectively? [00:18:08] Yeah. So you asked some interesting questions, so I actually, I got many emails from patients on the floor obviously patients are not stupid. They understand how to treat COVID and understand COVID. So I get numerous emails from patients who actually on the medical floor, emailing me, pleading with me to help them. [00:18:26] And obviously my hands were tied. How do we work around this? Firstly, I think it’s so important that people understand the importance of early treatment. Early treatment is absolutely key. You don’t want to wait until you get to hospitals. So I think, the powers that be have done a really bad job in emphasizing the need for early at hope treatment. [00:18:47] So that’s the first thing. Secondly, what I discovered actually is that there is another hospital system in, in Hampton roads that actually. Ivermectin. So while my hospital considers that a dangerous toxic course, the worming medicine, there is another hospital that actually allows its use. When people ask me, I’ll say you want to go there because this hospital does not allow you to use ivermectin at this time. [00:19:17] We hopeful that the judge will, we’ll see how ridiculous this whole situation is. And, give physicians the latitude to choose the medical medications that they think best. We’re not saying to physicians around the world, use ivermectin meth for them to decide, but hopefully this judge will give me and my colleagues, the authority to do what doctors do and treat patients as they see fit. [00:19:44] Nice. I think there’s another question about the support you’re getting from other doctors, but I’m guessing that what you’re doing is representing a group of doctors and a large number of doctors who who probably are very grateful for what you’re doing. Yeah, I mean you, yeah. Chris what I had to do, I had to do, and this is becoming more prevalent in the U S doc, there was a doctor from Methodist hospital in Houston who was kicked out because she prescribed ivermectin. [00:20:14] So it’s become absurd and it really has to do with repurposed medications. I think that’s what this whole thing comes down to is the powers that be, do not like as using repurposed medications that are cheap and effective. They want us to use expensive design of molecules that just don’t work. It is astonishing that they force me to use , which is toxic. [00:20:40] And by the way, the data safety monitoring board of Bandon, the use of rev desert air for a bowler, because it was so toxic. So they want me to use, toxic medication, which costs $3,000 a shot year, cheap repurpose drugs I can’t use. And I think that’s what this whole thing is about. Cheap repurpose drugs. [00:21:02] Yes. They are still a few questions. I feel we could probably move on questions with some members of the the WCH who are legal and wanting to be put in touch with your legal team, perhaps. You could answer those directly in the chat. Yeah you’re not people can email me and, fortunately I have, we have a really good legal team that we’ve managed to put together. [00:21:27] Very smart people that are really highly motivated. And I think that w what makes a difference? I think they were as outraged as I was in a really, outstanding and, I couldn’t ask for better legal support. People have asked, can I help? I think the best help you can do is express your outrage, because this is outrageous. [00:21:52] It really violates the basic fundamentals of clinical medicine. I think they need to hear loud and hard that what they’re doing is immoral, unethical and illegal. Yeah. Yeah. Shabnam ever changing. Thanks Tim. Dr. Medic, I remember the first time I interview you prefer to work with happening as absurd. [00:22:15] It’s just very beautiful to see you step into your power and stand up for the rights of your patients. And of course, people around the world, there is a link in the chat to the document from the triple C website. People can go and access that. It’s probably a summary of the case. There is a request for the email address of the hospital, Dr. Marik, if you’re willing to share that with us people power there. Yes. So they believe not, they have an ethics email address where people can, discuss ethical issues. I will put that in the web, in the chat and people can just email them, telling them how absolutely criminal this is. [00:22:58] Excellent. [00:22:59] Thank you, Dr. Marik. And of course your team of lawyers is welcome to join the legal committee of the World Council for Health. We meet on Thursdays. We’d love to hear more from them and offer them our support where we can. And of course, professor Paul Marik will feature on Saturday in a science for humanity panel. [00:23:17] It is going to be a trailblazer, a town hall hosted by TrialSiteNews in association with the World Council for Health, more details on that soon. [00:23:25] Thank you professor and Dr. Marik. [00:23:28]