Doctor suspended for spreading 'misinformation' on Covid-19 resigns
Houston: A Texas doctor, who was suspended by a hospital here, for allegedly "spreading dangerous misinformation" about the Covid-19 vaccine and treatment, has resigned.
Dr. Mary Bowden, an ear, nose, and throat doctor, tweeted about her resignation saying: "I have broken free from Methodist and very much appreciate the flood of support I have received!"
In an interview on local TV KHOU-11 on Tuesday, Bowden said she was suspended by the Methodist hospital last week after it learned she planned to only treat unvaccinated patients at her private practice in the River Oaks area.
She said it was to prove a point that unvaccinated patients shouldn't be treated differently. "I never closed my doors. I was open seven days a week during the pandemic. I've tested over 80,000 people for Covid. I've treated over 2,000 people for Covid. I've tried to stay ahead of Covid. I have tried to be proactive in treating my patients. I'm not dangerous. I'm not doing anything dangerous. For them to paint me that way is ridiculous," Bowden said.
"I will continue to see any and all Covid patients. I would never turn away someone with a life-threatening illness. But for the routine ENT stuff, I was going to prioritise the unvaccinated." Bowden tweeted in opposition to vaccine mandates and in favour of treating some Covid-19 patients with Ivermectin, a drug that hasn't been proven safe and effective by federal health officials in treating the virus.
"If someone has an illness, they have illness. What difference does it make if they have been vaccinated? You're going to treat them. It's like saying you're a smoker, we'll put you in the back of the line for treating your lung cancer. That's not the way it goes in medicine," Bowden said.
Bowden said she will continue to treat patients the way she believes is right. She said she is helping people and treatment plans differ for each patient. "Ivermectin isn't one size fits all. Nothing in medicine is cookie-cutter or we wouldn't need doctors. We would just go on Amazon and treat ourselves," Bowden said. "I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing because I'm helping people."
Her suspension came weeks after US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy released a guide to stop misinformation, which he called an urgent threat to public health. Houston Methodist officials posted a statement on Twitter about Bowden's suspension.
On Friday, a spokesperson with Houston Methodist told local media that Bowden's privileges had been suspended pending an investigation. Dr. Bowden is using her social media accounts to express her personal and political opinions about the Covid-19 vaccine and treatments. These opinions, which are harmful to the community, do not reflect reliable medical evidence or the values of Houston Methodist, where we have treated more than 25,000 Covid-19 patients, and where all our employees and physicians are vaccinated to protect our patients," the spokesperson said.
The hospital added she is "spreading dangerous misinformation which is not based in science." In her defence, Dr Bowden's attorney Steven Mitby said the doctor has treated "more than 2,000 patients with Covid-19" at her private practice and that none of them have ended up in the hospital. "Her early treatment methods work and are saving lives," he added. "Dr. Bowden has the utmost respect for Houston Methodist and is proud of the work she has done along with her colleagues at Houston Methodist."