HealthcareLocal NewsDr. Mary Bowden Files $25 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Houston Methodist Hospital

Houston Methodist accused a doctor who promoted early COVID-19 treatments and opposed vaccine mandates of spreading “dangerous misinformation.”
July 26, 2022
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Houston’s Dr. Mary Talley Bowden, who claims to have successfully treated thousands of COVID-19 patients and kept them out of the hospital with a multimodal early treatment protocol, found herself at the center of a media frenzy when the largest hospital system in Texas publicly denounced her.

Bowden, an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist who studied medicine at the University of Texas and Stanford, says she was blindsided by Houston Methodist Hospital’s public attack on her reputation.

“Eight months ago, I received probably one of the most startling text messages I have ever received in my life,” said Bowden during a Monday press conference alongside her consultant Wayne Dolcefino. “And it was a reporter from the Houston Chronicle asking me to confirm: ‘Is it true that your privileges have been suspended from Houston Methodist?’”

Bowden explained that someone from the hospital had gone to the Houston Chronicle to publicize their suspension of her hospital privileges. After receiving the text, she found an email notice from the hospital. That same day, November 12, the hospital’s social media account blasted to 23,000 followers, “Dr. Bowden, who has never admitted a patient at Houston Methodist Hospital, is spreading dangerous misinformation which is not based in science.”

Prior to Houston Methodist’s public pronouncements, Bowden had publicly advocated early COVID-19 treatments that included high doses of the medication Ivermectin. She also condemned vaccine mandates like those imposed by Houston Methodist and, after hearing from some patients that they were turned away by other doctors for refusing the Emergency Use Authorization COVID vaccines, stated publicly she would prioritize treating patients who were not vaccinated.

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In addition to social media efforts, Houston Methodist president and CEO Dr. Marc Boom provided media statements saying Bowden used “vulgar and foul language while expressing her opinions” and that she had accused the hospital of refusing to treat unvaccinated patients.

Bowden says she questioned a Houston Methodist doctor in an email as to whether he had refused to treat an unvaccinated patient.

Following Houston Methodist and Boom’s public statements, national and international media such as CNN and USA Today repeated the story of Bowden’s suspension for spreading “false information about COVID-19, vaccines.”

In her legal complaint filed against the hospital and Boom this week, Bowden says the public controversy has fundamentally changed her life, making her fearful and self-conscious, and that a Houston private school declined to admit her son “because of the statements published by Methodist.”

“[Bowden] fears for her safety and the safety and welfare of her children.”

The complaint asserts that Methodist and Boom’s statements are “materially false” since she has “kept over 4,000 patients out of the hospital, and no one who has received early treatment under her care has died.”

“Dr. Bowden has had no serious adverse reactions from using Ivermectin.”

Bowden explained her opposition to vaccine mandates has evolved into opposing the vaccines themselves, as there are growing reports of adverse reactions and increasing evidence that the EUA vaccines are not as effective as originally advertised in preventing illness.

Earlier this year, Bowden and Dolcefino also sued Houston Methodist, seeking data on the hospital’s financial arrangements related to COVID vaccinations, treatments, and deaths as well as on adverse reactions to the EUA vaccines the hospital administered and whether patients dying of COVID at the hospital had been denied early treatment.

In response to a reporter’s question about the suit’s $25 million number, Bowden replied, “My name has been permanently altered around the world and that is my profession. Would you go to a doctor that if you Googled her name it said ‘dangerous?’ I don’t think so.”

“People should be held accountable when they destroy someone’s reputation unfairly and falsely,” said Dolcefino.

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) is investigating Bowden over complaints related to her use of Ivermectin to treat COVID patients, but under current rules, complaints may be filed against doctors by unharmed third parties and the TMB does not have to inform an accused doctor who has filed a complaint.

Bowden says she believes one of the complaints pending against her before the TMB is from Houston Methodist.

The TMB notified Bowden last week that a hearing scheduled for July 27 regarding these complaints had been postponed but not yet rescheduled.

Houston Methodist has declined to provide a statement on the lawsuit.

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Holly Hansen

Holly Hansen is a freelance writer living in Harris County. Her former column, “All In Perspective” ran in The Georgetown Advocate, Jarrell Star Ledger, and The Hill Country News, and she has contributed to a variety of Texas digital media outlets. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida with a degree in History, and in addition to writing about politics and policy, also writes about faith and culture.