Sun Ng, a retired contractor from Hong Kong, traveled to Illinois to celebrate his only granddaughter’s first birthday. He got covid and was near death in a Chicago-area hospital. All other options were exhausted, but the hospital refused to give Mr. Ng a generic, FDA-approved drug with an extraordinary safety record that a doctor believed could safe his life.
Finally, a judge asked the right question about ivermectin.
“What’s the downside?”
Put another way: If a man is dying of covid in an ICU and all else has been tried, why not order a hospital to give a safe, last-ditch drug?
Edward Hospital, located near Chicago, offered three arguments as to why Sun Ng, seventy-one, should not be given ivermectin:
- There could be side effects.
- Ordering ivermectin would violate its policies.
- Forcing the issue would be “extraordinary” judicial overreach.
On each argument, DuPage County Circuit Court Judge Paul Fullerton firmly disagreed.
“I can’t think of a more extraordinary situation than when we are talking about a man’s life,” he said in a November 5 decision that is a model of rational decision-making in an irrational era.
“I am not forcing this hospital to do anything other than to step aside,” he continued in a Zoom hearing. “I am just asking—or not asking—I am ordering through the Court’s power to allow Dr. Bain to have the emergency privileges and administer this medicine.”
The hospital ultimately stepped aside. Dr. Alan Bain, an internist, administered a five-day course of 24 milligrams of ivermectin, from November 8 through November 12.
Ng, who with his wife, Ying, had come from Hong Kong to celebrate their granddaughter’s birthday, was able to breathe without a ventilator within five days—he, in fact, removed the endotracheal himself. He left the ICU Tuesday, November 16, and, although confused and weak, was breathing Sunday without supplemental oxygen on a regular hospital floor.
“Every day after ivermectin, there was accelerated and stable improvement,” said Dr. Bain, who administered the drug in two previous court cases after hospitals refused. “Three times we’ve shown something,” he told me. “There’s a signal of benefit for ventilator patients.”
The judge’s finest moment may have been when he dashed the most glaring myth about ivermectin—that it is not safe, despite decades of use that shows otherwise. Noting that all drugs have side effects, Judge Fullerton listed ivermectin’s effects from a government website.
“(N)umber one, generally well tolerated; number two, dizziness; number three, pruritus; number four, nausea/diarrhea. These are the side effects for the dosage that’s being asked to be administered,” he said.
“The risks of these side effects are so minimal that Mr. Ng’s current situation outweighs that risk by one-hundredfold.”