Tamara Drock, a 47-year-old teacher from Loxahatchee near Palm Beach, Florida, passed away from Covid complications on Friday after 12 weeks in hospital, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Her Husband, Ryan Drock, had sued the hospital last month to force doctors to administer ivermectin, an anti-parasite medication that has become a cause célèbre for Covid sceptics and supporters of Donald Trump despite little evidence of its benefits.
County judge James Nutt rejected Mr Drock’s lawsuit, arguing that letting judges dictate treatments to doctors would set a dangerous precedent.
Several similar cases across the US have tried to make hospitals use ivermectin, which has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because it hasn’t shown promise in pre-clinical trials.
Nevertheless, countless viral posts in conservative Facebook groups and other online spaces, driven in part by a pro-Trump telemedicine service that sells prescriptions for ivermectin, have hailed it as a miracle drug and advised followers to do whatever they can to get it.
The resulting scramble has created shortages of ivermectin pills for humans, leading some believers to comb veterinary stores for the flavoured ivermectin paste used to treat worm infections in horses.
Separately, a doctor in Houston, Texas was suspended on Friday for allegedly tweeting "dangerous misinformation" about ivermectin’s effectiveness against Covid-19.
Following Judge Nutt’s ruling, Mr Drock tried to reach an agreement with the hospital to treat his wife with ivermectin. One doctor agreed to do so, but the family’s lawyer said the dosage was too low.
In an interview with the Palm Beach Post on Monday, Mr Drock blamed the hospital for Tamara’s death and vowed to keep pressing his case.
"I’m hoping they name a law after her so no one has to go through this," he said. "If she had walked out of the hospital she could have had the medication.
"We don’t know if [the drug] would have saved her life, but it could have. Maybe it wouldn’t have done anything, but we’re pursuing the case strictly from a legal perspective. Every person in Florida has a constitutional right to choose what is done with their own body."
Mrs Drock is survived by her husband and two children.
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