Source Jeffrey I. Barke, M.D.
In medicine we often use the abbreviation PRN, the initial letters of the Latin phrase “Pro Re Nata.” The English translation of this is “As Things Stand.” It signals a moment to pause, to sum up, to take stock of an ongoing matter. It’s a good practice for public policy issues as well as medicine.
Take COVID-19. As things now stand, we have reached a point where it is almost impossible to differentiate medical truth from medical fiction, health information from health misinformation. While there have always been disagreements in medicine about how to treat almost every illness and care for different patients, there has never been an organized effort to censor and completely shut down opinions that differ from the “mainstream” in the last 200 years of medical practice. But it is happening now.
I read many traditional sources of medical information including JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association), AFP (American Family Physicians), and NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine) to name a few. I also read from several nontraditional, more holistic, natural medicine sources as well. My goal is to stay current with both traditional Western medical thinking as well as naturopathic medical practice so I can provide the most comprehensive care possible to my patients.
I am sometimes accused by those afraid of my thinking of being anti-science or an anti-vaxxer. That’s way too easy and too simplistic. Call a name, attach a label and hope that that’s enough to bury the other person’s point of view.
For the record, I see myself and my medical opinions as very much pro-science. In reality, I am for maximum understanding of a condition so my patients can make informed decisions on any medical condition or procedure including vaccinations. In medicine, the relationship between a doctor and his or her patient is sacrosanct. As such, I always discuss treatment options with my patients including risks, benefits, and alternatives. I use my 25+ years of experience and scientific knowledge to advise my patients on how I see the path forward. The result, hopefully, is an eventual informed decision by my patient.
Recently, I called in a prescription for Ivermectin for a patient who had tested positive for COVID and was presenting mild symptoms. Ivermectin is a repurposed medication that is normally used to treat parasitic infections but has shown efficacy against COVID-19. The pharmacist questioned the prescription and asked why I would be using Ivermectin. After a 10-minute discussion I emailed her the protocol I based my prescription on from the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). She eventually agreed to dispense the medication for our mutual patient. But I am seeing physicians not wanting to treat COVID because they, too, are hassled by pharmacists and criticized by the medical establishment. It is just not worth it to them. So their patients suffer because of an orthodoxy wrapped in political correctness and fostered by a left-leaning majority that insists on being “right.”
The scientific and commonsense arguments for treating COVID during its early, mild stages are obvious but the resistance is constant. I truly believe that if more doctors understood the available early COVID treatments there would be significantly fewer deaths. I am unaware of any medical illness where early treatment does not improve outcomes including cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, asthma and so on. Yet too many doctors simply tell their COVID-positive patients to go home, isolate, and head for the hospital if symptoms appear or escalate.
We now have many options in our tool chest to treat the early stages of COVID. One such tool I use for early treatment can be found on the FLCCC website. In some countries over-the-counter kits containing Ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine are available for early treatment of the symptoms of COVID-19. In my own toolchest are hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, Luvox, Colchicine, inhaled budesonide, and other similar medicines. There is also growing evidence that a patient’s low level of vitamin D correlates with a bad outcome for COVID-19. As a result, I am now routinely recommending to my patients supplements such as Vitamin D, Zinc, Quercetin, and Melatonin at appropriate dosages. One way to find a physician attuned to these treatments is through telemedicine. A link to a telemedicine site can be found on my own website.
Pro Re Nata — As Things Stand now — we need more, not less, debate and information from physicians so that the public, as well as patients, can make better informed decisions about the care of our citizens in this age of COVID-19.