Doctor Against Vax Mandates Has Her Privileges Yanked

Houston Methodist says Dr. Mary Bowden has spread 'dangerous misinformation' on COVID
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2021 8:52 AM CST
Texas Hospital Yanks Doctor's Privileges Over 'Harmful' Posts
Houston Methodist has suspended the privileges of Dr. Mary Bowden.   (Wikimedia Commons/Anphalen)

A Texas hospital has suspended the privileges of one of its doctors for airing her "dangerous" views on the coronavirus vaccine. Per KTRK, Houston Methodist announced Friday evening it had yanked privileges for ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Mary Bowden, who the hospital says had been "using her social media accounts to express her personal and political opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine and treatments." Those opinions don't appear to jibe with those of the hospital, which calls Bowden's views "harmful to the community."

CNN reports that among the views that Bowden has promoted is encouragement to use the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to treat COVID, even though ivermectin isn't approved to use for this disease and has been warned against by both the CDC and the FDA. Bowden also recently shifted her private practice to treating unvaxxed patients, and she has made regular posts online railing against vaccine mandates, though her attorney, Steven Mitby, says she's not against vaccines, but feels "people should have a choice," per the Washington Post. Houston Methodist says Bowden herself is vaccinated, as it's mandated for all doctors who work for the hospital.

Still, "Dr. Bowden, who has never admitted a patient at Houston Methodist Hospital, is spreading dangerous misinformation which is not based in science," the hospital tweeted. It also refuted Bowden's apparent claim that the hospital has turned away patients who were unvaccinated, noting, "Houston Methodist does not and will never deny care to a patient based on vaccination status." The hospital added that Bowden's suspension would remain in effect while an investigation takes place.

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CNN notes that a "small group" of doctors like Bowden have been "a huge source" of misinformation and conspiracy theories, with one Northeastern University professor saying that "these doctors are taking advantage of the trust in them." Mitby, meanwhile, has released a statement on Bowden, who "has treated more than 2,000 patients with COVID-19, many with co-morbidities, and has yet to have one of her patients end up in the hospital," per KTRK. He adds that "her early treatment methods work and are saving lives" and that "Dr. Bowden has the utmost respect for Houston Methodist." (More COVID-19 stories.)

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