After filing a complaint in the Circuit Court for the City of Norfolk, Virginia on November 9, 2021 (Case #CL21013852), Paul Marik, MD, one of the most highly published critical care physicians in the world and the Director of the ICU at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital will be given his day in court. The hearing set for Thursday, November 18, could lead to the reinstatement of several treatments that are currently banned by the Sentara Healthcare System.
On Friday, November 12, Sentara filed a motion to dismiss Dr. Marik’s complaint against them for prohibiting several medications that he has been using to safely and effectively treat critically ill COVID patients since last year. According to the response filed by Dr. Marik, Sentara’s dismissal motion is a “paper thin” effort to avoid the real life and death issue facing the hospital by claiming that Dr. Marik lacks “standing” to bring his complaint because he himself (as opposed to his patients) has allegedly suffered no harm.
“Sentara’s defense avoids the very real harm to both the patient’s right to receive life-saving treatment and the right of her doctor to prescribe it”, said Fred Taylor, attorney for Dr. Marik. “This case is about whether a hospital administration can legally prohibit critically ill COVID-19 patients from receiving information and treatment, if they and their doctors so decide it is medically appropriate for them. Virginia law is clear, the attending physician and not the hospital has the authority to use the treatment they have deemed appropriate.”
In addition to the declarations of support and over 20 advance directives that were submitted to the court, the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) has received an outpouring of support for Dr Marik from around the world.
“It is truly inspiring to hear from so many that support this case and the right of doctors to follow their Hippocratic Oath and treat our patients the best we know how,” said Paul Marik, MD, chief, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, who practices in the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. “We hope for a positive outcome on Thursday and that the court decides to put the power of medical decisions back in the hands of doctors and our patients.”