Physician Disciplined for Prescribing Ivermectin During COVID-19 Pandemic

Recently, Washington state physician Wei-Hsung Lin, MD, faced disciplinary action by the state’s medical board for prescribing ivermectin during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lin, who practices at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Washington, was fined $5,000 and required to take continuing medical education classes on COVID and the patient-physician relationship.

The Washington Medical Commission cited Lin for substandard care of five patients in 2021. In one incident, Lin prescribed ivermectin to a 69-year-old man with multiple heart conditions, including congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation, despite the potential risks of drug interactions and increased bleeding due to the patient’s anticoagulant medication. Additionally, Lin prescribed a double dose of ivermectin so the patient could share it with his wife, who exhibited COVID symptoms.

In another case, Lin prescribed ivermectin to a COVID-positive 71-year-old woman whose condition deteriorated, leading to hospitalization for pneumonia. He also prescribed ivermectin to a 37-year-old woman experiencing post-vaccine symptoms, such as rash and chest pain, attributing them to “persistent spike protein effects” from the vaccine. Furthermore, Lin unknowingly provided ivermectin to a 67-year-old patient who requested it without proper medical justification.

As a result of the disciplinary action, Lin is prohibited from prescribing ivermectin for non-FDA-approved uses and must conduct in-person or video appointments before prescribing medications. He is mandated to complete CME courses on COVID prevention, treatment, and management, as well as on the physician-patient relationship and maintaining medical records. Lin is required to write two 1,000-word papers on the topics covered in the CME courses within six months, along with adhering to compliance audits and reporting his compliance with the board’s order. After three years, he may seek to terminate the oversight.

Hospital Response and Legal Action

Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Lin’s workplace, expressed cooperation with the investigation but stated that they do not endorse ivermectin for COVID-19 prevention or treatment. The medical center emphasized the importance of respecting the rights of patients and physicians to explore treatment options based on individual health circumstances. On a different note, four other doctors in Washington state are challenging the medical board’s stance on COVID misinformation, with three currently holding active licenses while facing disciplinary measures for inappropriate care of COVID patients.

The case of Dr. Wei-Hsung Lin serves as a cautionary tale regarding the ethical responsibilities of healthcare providers during public health crises. The importance of adhering to established medical guidelines, engaging in appropriate patient care, and continuously updating medical knowledge through education cannot be understated. It underscores the significance of accountability, transparency, and integrity in medical practice to ensure optimal patient outcomes and maintain public trust in the healthcare system.


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