In what can be seen as a step toward the vindication of Dr. Vladimir Zelenko and others who – in early 2020 – identified hydroxychloroquine combined with other agents as an effective treatment of COVID-19, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said that his office won’t punish doctors who prescribe the treatments as long as they are not engaging in misconduct.
Indeed, Peterson wrote in a legal opinion on October 14 that doctors who prescribe hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin as off-label medicines to treat or prevent COVID-19 will not be legally punished, the Epoch Times reports.
The opinion came in response to a request from the CEO of the state’s health department, Dannette Smith, who asked whether it would be “deemed unlawful or otherwise subject to discipline” for doctors to prescribe “off label use” medications.”
The attorney general said that his office finds “the available data does not justify filing disciplinary actions against physicians simply because they prescribe ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19.”
Health care providers in general may be subject to discipline if they “neglect to obtain informed consent, deceive their patients, prescribe excessively high doses, fail to check for contraindications, or engage in other misconduct,” he wrote.
He said that his office is not recommending any particular treatments but that “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 health care system.”
This newly issued statement does raise the question of how many deaths could have been prevented with widespread early treatment, which may have been denied for political reasons.