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Florida First DCA rules that Covid-19 patient’s right to self-determination did not legally compel hospital physicians to administer treatment against their medical judgment or perceived ethics

On January 27, 2022, in Pisano v. Mayo Clinic Florida, No. 1D22-43, the Florida First DCA issued an opinion explaining its reasoning for an expedited order entered on January 14, 2022, declining to exercise certiorari review of a trial court’s order denying a petition for emergency injunctive relief to compel the Mayo Clinic to treat a Covid-19 patient with drugs, including ivermectin, prescribed by an outside physician. The petition was filed pursuant to Rule 5.900 of the Florida Rules of Probate Procedure, which provides for expedited judicial intervention concerning medical treatment procedures and was denied by the circuit court on the basis that an individual’s right to privacy is a right of self-determination, the right to accept or refuse, not a right to demand a particular treatment. The trial court cited in support Drock v. Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, No. 50-2021-CA011209-XXXXMB (Fla. 15th Cir. Ct. Oct. 16, 2021). The First DCA agreed that Rule 5.900 does not provide a substantive legal basis to compel a hospital, physicians, or medical staff to administer treatment against their medical judgment or perceived ethics. The First DCA declined to entertain the petitioners’ alternative argument that the Florida Patients’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, §§ 381.026, 456.41, Florida Statutes (2021), supported their requested relief, finding that the argument had not been raised before the trial court and consequently was not properly before the First DCA on appeal.

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