Attorney: Doctor fighting to be able to prescribe Ivermectin says Sentara has suspended hospital privileges for 14 days

Southeast Region

Paul Marik

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A doctor who is taking Sentara Healthcare to court so he can prescribe a controversial COVID-19 drug to his patients has been suspended from working in a Norfolk hospital for two weeks, according to his attorney.

Dr. Paul Marik, a doctor with Eastern Virginia Medical School who has had privileges at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, filed a request for a temporary injunction in Norfolk Circuit Court earlier this month. If issued, the injunction would allow Marik to prescribe Ivermectin.

Sentara and Riverside Health have both banned the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19. Sentara has argued Marik can recommend the drug for treatment, but the doctor also wants to be able to prescribe it because he believes it can save lives.

Some health officials have said there are small individual studies supporting Ivermectin in treating COVID-19, but they “don’t add up to sufficient evidence,” a Riverside Health System official told 10 On Your Side this month. They said a Cochrane analysis of the methodology used for some recent studies on Ivermectin and COVID-19 also revealed problems.

As of Monday night, a judge had not issued a ruling on the request for an injunction.

While there hasn’t yet been a ruling on the injunction, according to Marik’s attorney, the doctor’s privileges in the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital ICU have been suspended for 14 days.

The information about the suspension was in a letter written by Marik’s attorney, Fred D. Taylor, on Monday. 10 On Your Side obtained a copy of the letter.

The letter from Taylor alleges Marik reported for work Saturday morning in the intensive care unit at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and found a letter on his desk informing him that his hospital privileges had been suspended for 14 days.

The letter was dated Nov. 18, the same date Sentara and Marik appeared in court to argue their sides about why the injunction should or shouldn’t be issued. Taylor said Marik was unaware of the suspension when he appeared in court, only finding out when he arrived at the hospital Saturday.

Taylor said Sentara said they had sent Marik an email with notice of the suspension as well, but Marik said he didn’t receive it.

The letter asks for a supplemental hearing in court to “redress these material facts evidencing misrepresentations before this Court.”

10 On Your Side reached out to Sentara Monday evening. The hospital system did not confirm whether it had suspended Marik.

“In accordance with Virginia state statutes, and consistent with hospital policies, we cannot comment on any medical staff proceedings,” a Sentara spokeswoman said.

Taylor called the suspension a “blatant act of retaliation” against Marik for filing the suit.

“This is a desperate attempt by Sentara to say that Dr. Marik does not have standing since he was suspended at the time of arguing his case in court,” said Taylor.

Taylor also said the letter indicates Marik should appear at a proceeding before a committee on Dec. 2.

While Taylor did not include a copy of the letter from Sentara with his letter addressing the court, Taylor said Sentara said Marik “informed [COVID] patients that ‘your hands were tied’ and that there was nothing more you could do for them.”

This story will be updated with additional details as they’re available.

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