Defiant Doctor Gilbertha St. Rose has been smiling and singing ‘Hallelujah’ following a judge’s stay of execution of the decision by the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Council (SLMDC) last December to fine her — and suspend her practicing license.
Dr. St. Rose’s lawyers on December 31, 2021 applied to the court for a Leave to apply for Judicial Review of the Council’s December 8, 2021 decision to charge her $10,000 and suspend her license for six months.
The request was heard on February 18, 2022 and Justice Rohan A. Philip ruled in favor of the doctor’s request — but on condition she agreed not to prescribe Ivermectin to patients until the case is resolved, which was agreed.
Now the doctor’s lawyers have a fortnight to file her submission on why she should not have to pay the Council’s $10,000 fine and stop practicing for half-a-year.
Dr. St Rose had strenuously resisted, rejected and criticized the Council, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Sharon Belmar George and the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs for ordering her to stop what they described as her promotion of an unauthorized drug.
She was also accused, by the Council, of engaging in “clinical trials” of Ivermectin, contrary to local regulations.
The Council charged the doctor for not following the CMO’s and Ministry of Health’s warnings to desist and summoned her last December to explain why she defied the warnings and continued to prescribe a medication not approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Ministry of Health and Wellness, to fight COVID-19.
In her defense, Dr. St Rose told the press she was simply utilizing her medical and professional autonomy in the use of an approved drug.
She also claimed she was “using it off-label, safely and efficaciously, as has been increasingly occurring with many other drugs, including Ivermectin, in the private and even public sectors the world over.”
The Council was not represented when the application was heard and has since maintained a deafening silence.
Dr. St Rose described the court’s ruling as “A Hallelujah moment!”
Her lawyers now have until March 4 to file a Fixed Date Claim against the Council for her Application, with the first hearing set for April 28, 2022.