By Clair McFarland, General Assignment Reporter
Physicians should not advise patients against COVID-19 vaccines nor promote Ivermectin, says a retired doctor in Powell Wyoming.
Jim McEvoy, a doctor of osteopathic medicine who is now retired after more than two decades of practice, told Cowboy State Daily that doctors should be careful to adhere to the commonly accepted standard of care for COVID patients as required by a new California law, Assembly Bill 2098.
‘At Your Peril’
McEvoy specifically disputes comments given Jan. 4 by retired Riverton family practice doctor Kent Stockton, who spoke against California’s new law because it constrains doctors from acting on their own experience and other scientific findings to treat patients.
The California law would penalize doctors there for advising patients against COVID vaccines or in favor of other COVID treatment methods not favored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
“My perspective is, you act in the best interest of the patient, and the fiduciary duty is, you uphold the standard of care,” said McEvoy, adding that doctors can deviate from the commonly accepted standard of care, but only when dissenters are a respected and experienced minority offering peer-reviewed work.
McEvoy said when pitting the medical community’s vaccine dissenters against the CDC currently, he’d be inclined to side with the CDC.
“You can’t force the patient to get the vaccine, but at least inform them that the CDC and other bodies recommend the vaccine against COVID and other viruses, just like they recommend the flu vaccine – that’s your responsibility,” he said. “You deviate from that standard at your peril and at the peril of the patient if you’re wrong.”
Studies regarding Ivermectin’s effectiveness against COVID are conflicting, with the National Institutes of Health publishing opposing studies on the drug within days of one another in summer 2021. One of the studies recommended Ivermectin to reduce COVID deaths; the other recommended against its use, with researchers saying they were uncertain about its efficacy and safety.
The NIH’s most recent guidance on the drug, dispatched last April, recommends against using Ivermectin to treat and prevent COVID.
McEvoy said he can’t comment on whether AB 2098 is constitutional under the First Amendment.
“I’m not a lawyer,” he said, adding that he’s merely concerned as a retired radiologist that doctors should not “give wrong information” to their patients.
First Amendment expert and law professor George Mocsary told Cowboy State Daily that the law may be an infringement of doctors’ free-speech rights, if doctors are telling patients what they believe to be true, and making patients’ choices clear in a way that obtains informed consent.
“(The law) assumes that science is some immutable truth. But it’s not,” he said. “Science is a process. It’s filled with imperfect knowledge and people.”
Bout With COVID
McEvoy’s own doctor took good care of him last year after McEvoy got COVID, he said.
“He gave me the options,” said McEvoy, noting that he chose not to take an antiviral drug his doctor had recommended.
He said he has had three COVID vaccines but got the virus anyway, because he caught a new variant. It took him about a month to recover fully, McEvoy said.