HealthcareLocal NewsDr. Mary Bowden Rejects Texas Medical Board Compromise, Requests Public Hearing Over COVID Treatments

Facing anonymous complaints, Bowden could acknowledge guilt and pay a fine, but she has demanded a public hearing instead.
March 1, 2023
A Houston doctor facing anonymous complaints over COVID-19 treatments has rejected a disciplinary compromise offer from the Texas Medical Board (TMB).

Dr. Mary Talley Bowden, an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist who studied medicine at both the University of Texas and Stanford University, says she has successfully treated more than 5,500 COVID-19 patients without a single death. She drew controversy in 2021 for promoting Ivermectin and other early treatments while publicly criticizing vaccine mandates.

After receiving complaints last year, the TMB launched an investigation and last week held an informal settlement conference with Bowden and her attorneys. At the conclusion of the conference, Bowden says TMB offered the equivalent of a plea deal that would require her to pay a $5,000 fine, attend eight hours of continuing medical education, and retake a jurisprudence exam required for all state-certified physicians.

“This was a closed-door meeting, during which I could accept their offer,” Bowden told The Texan. “But I will not plead guilty to crimes I did not commit. I want the opportunity to have my case heard in a public hearing and to call and examine witnesses.”

Responsible for licensing medical professionals in Texas, TMB has the authority to discipline or revoke certifications. Last December, the board disciplined or suspended 22 physicians for violations unrelated to COVID-19 treatments.

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According to Bowden’s attorney Steve Mitby, two members of the TMB board and two attorneys for TMB also attended the conference, but Bowden and her attorneys were ordered not to share the identities of the other attendees.

“Texas Medical Board proceedings amount to a ‘Star Chamber,’” Mitby told The Texan, referring to a court used for rigged and secretive trials by English monarchs before being abolished by Parliament in 1641.

Mitby also noted that one of the TMB members present for the conference was a San Antonio physician specializing in a different field of medicine, while the other was a human resources administrator for a hospital.

Under Texas statute, complaints to the TMB may remain anonymous to the doctor subject to the investigation. Bowden says she only knows the complaints against her are from staff or administrators at Texas Health Huguley Hospital and Houston Methodist Medical Center.

One complaint regards Tarrant County Deputy Sheriff Jason Jones, who contracted COVID-19 in September 2021 and tried unsuccessfully to obtain Ivermectin.

Jones was admitted to Huguley Hospital and intubated on October 7, 2021. After hospital staff placed him in a medically induced coma, his wife Erin Jones requested he be treated with Ivermectin, but the hospital denied her request. She obtained a second opinion from Bowden and then sued for a court order to administer Ivermectin, but the hospital filed an appeal and called the police to block a nurse brought by Erin from giving Jones the medication.

Late in November 2021, an appeals court ruled the hospital could not be forced to allow Ivermectin treatment, but Erin Jones says she secretly applied Ivermectin to her husband in paste form and he was released from the hospital in May 2022. Bowden says she did not know Erin applied the medication in secret.

Although Jones’ wife requested the treatment in court documents, in a letter to Bowden’s attorney, the TMB cited allegations that Bowden prescribed Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 “while [Jones] was in the ICU, without evaluating him, or obtaining informed consent for this use.”

Last year, TMB also said they were investigating allegations that Bowden posted photos of the staff and physicians of Texas Health Huguley Hospital who refused to administer Ivermectin “with the intent to harass, threaten and intimidate, which jeopardized their safety.”

During last Friday’s hearing, Bowden said she was not given the name of the expert that provided advisement to the board, was not permitted to cross-examine that expert, and that the participating TMB physician focused on hospital procedures rather than patient outcomes.

Patient’s rights attorney Beth Parlato, who represented Jones, told The Texan that during the pandemic she and co-counsel Ralph Lorigo filed 189 cases across the nation on behalf of hospitalized COVID-19 patients seeking access to Ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine.

“80 of those went to a hearing and we won the right to try in 40 cases,” said Parlato. “Of the 40 we won, 38 patients recovered and two died; one was a severely medically compromised 14-year-old girl and the other was a woman in her mid-sixties who had been ill for months.”

Parlota added that her legal team won all but one of the cases that went before a Republican judge, but lost every case that went before a Democratic judge.

“Now the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration have backtracked on warnings against Ivermectin and taken a more neutral stance, but these doctors are still facing consequences,” said Parlota.

The CDC’s current guidelines state that while“there are currently insufficient data to recommend ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19,” ongoing clinical trials might provide more information about “hypothesized uses in the future.”

A second complaint to TMB states that Bowden was suspended from the Houston Methodist Medical Center “due to failure to comply with COVID-19 guidelines and placing patients at risk.”

In November 2021, Houston Methodist publicly announced its suspension of Bowden’s hospital privileges and accused her of “spreading dangerous misinformation” about COVID-19.

TMB rules stipulate that investigations should be completed within 180 days of a complaint, but last May, a board investigator notified Bowden’s attorney that the investigation would take longer since “there were unavoidable delays in obtaining an expert review of the matter under investigation in this case.” The TMB originally scheduled a conference with Bowden for July 27, 2021, but suddenly postponed the conference without explanation on July 15.

Mitby said there is no mandated timeline for completing the process and that TMB has not yet provided a plea deal offer in writing.

“TMB is dragging this out,” said Mitby. “This is essentially a woke institution in the pocket of Big Pharma.”

Texas Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) has filed legislation that would prohibit anonymous third- party complaints to TMB and require the board to adhere to timelines for the investigation and resolution of complaints.

Bowden has also sued Houston Methodist Hospital seeking records related to COVID-19 deaths and financial arrangements related to treatment. Although a district court judge dismissed the case last month, Bowden has filed an appeal.

TMB did not respond to The Texan‘s request for comment by the time of publication.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated that Bowden prescribed the Ivermectin paste to Jones. We regret the error.


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Holly Hansen

Holly Hansen is a regional reporter for The Texan 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.