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Constitutional Rights and the Public’s Health

Pisano v. Mayo Clinic Florida


Pisano v. Mayo Clinic Florida (Florida Court of Appeals, First District, Jan. 27, 2022): A Florida court held that family members of a critically ill patient could not compel the Mayo Clinic to administer medical treatment contrary to the Clinic staff’s “medical judgment and perceived ethical obligations” and the Clinic’s approved course of treatment for COVID-19 related illnesses. The patient was in a medically induced coma for COVID-19 related illness when his wife and son, acting as his healthcare proxies, obtained a prescription from a doctor outside the Clinic for a course of treatment including ivermectin, melatonin, and other substances. The family claimed they could compel the Clinic to administer the treatment pursuant to the patient’s rights to privacy and self-determination, and a state probate rule requiring expedited judicial decision-making in cases where patients wish to refuse medical treatment. While the legal principles the family put forward protect some medical decision-making, the court held that no precedent or legal principles allowed the family members to compel the Mayo Clinic to use a particular treatment against its institutional policies. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – April 15, 2022.

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