Exclusive: Dr. Mary Talley Bowden Shares Why She Sued Hospital That Suspended Her for Treating C0VID Patients With Ivermectin
By David Marks
In an exclusive interview with The Defender, Dr. Mary Talley Bowden talked about prioritizing patients’ needs, how the medical industry bullies doctors and why she’s cautiously optimistic about the future of medicine.
In early November 2021, Dr. Mary Talley Bowden, an ear, nose and throat specialist in Houston, Texas, received a plea for help from the wife of a COVID patient in the intensive care unit of a Fort Worth hospital.
“She wanted the doctors to try ivermectin and they were refusing, and she needed somebody to testify in court on her husband’s behalf,” Bowden said in an interview with The Defender.
“Imagine that your 48-year-old husband, the father of your six children, is suffering at the ICU, and the doctors would risk him dying rather than trying ivermectin.”
Bowden’s first instinct was to agree to testify — likely because she has always practiced medicine from a patient-focused perspective.
“So often the people you deal with at a front desk don’t even make eye contact,” Bowden said. “You’re filling out the same form every time, then you sit there for hours with no one telling you what’s going on — it’s very inefficient. That really motivated me to try something different.”
For Bowden, being a good doctor is not just about science. “I wanted a practice that was very patient-friendly and oriented to customer service,” Bowden told The Defender.
“To see me, people can schedule appointments online — you don’t have to spend 20 minutes on the phone going over the details of your insurance. My office is located in a strip mall, so it’s ground-level parking where you can easily get in and out.”
Above all, Bowden said she recognizes the humanity of those who come to her office. “I emphasize to my staff the importance of smiling and communicating with patients, treating them like royalty — they’re not just a number.”
Bowden said she was all for the COVID vaccines when they first came out. It was only when she started seeing what was happening with all the breakthrough cases that she wondered, “Why am I seeing so many COVID cases among the fully vaccinated?”
Then her patients began having adverse reactions. “If I hadn’t seen that firsthand, I would still think the vaccine was the way to go,” she said.
As the pandemic evolved, Bowden developed protocols for preventing and treating COVID patients. She said she’s seen excellent results.
“The basis of it is ivermectin,” she said. “And also vitamins C and D, quercetin and zinc, and black seed oil. It’s nothing complicated — and it’s just like with anything in medicine — not one size fits all — protocols are guidelines.”
“With this disease, during the first week, you try to lower the viral load,” she added, “and in the second week, you try to control the inflammation. It’s not rocket science. And even if you don’t believe in the efficacy of ivermectin, you could control the inflammation with high-dose steroids. The problem in the hospitals is that they are using low-dose steroids — you could argue that just increasing the steroids will give better results — but for some reason, they’re stuck on using this very low dose.”
Bowden has treated more than 2,000 COVID patients and all but one recovered.
“Unfortunately, I’ve had one death — she needed to be on a ventilator when she first came into my office — but everybody who received earlier treatment has survived.” Bowden testified on behalf of the COVID patient in the Fort Worth hospital, and the lower court quickly ruled he should be allowed to have ivermectin. “They told the hospital to grant me temporary privileges so I could write the order for the ivermectin,” she said.
However, the hospital appealed and the decision was reversed.
“The same day I found out the patient wasn’t going to get ivermectin, someone with a history of bladder cancer reached out to me saying she needed my help,” Bowden said. “Her urologist at Houston Methodist Hospital would no longer see her because she wasn’t vaccinated — she was forced to find another doctor.”
There was more news that day. “The surgery center I used sent out an email saying that in order to operate there, you have to be vaccinated,” Bowden said. “So all three of those things came at once — and it got to me.”
“The writing was on the wall — if you weren’t vaccinated, you’re going to get treated differently. So I realized that I’m going to provide a place for these patients to come where they won’t feel judged and will get well taken care of — just a safe place for people.”
Bowden sent a letter to her patients and posted it on her website saying she would no longer accept new patients if they were vaccinated.
However, she never refused any patient at her practice. “I don’t ask them if they are vaccinated unless it’s relevant to what we’re talking about,” Bowden said. “I never enforced it though it did cause quite a stir. I got a lot of nasty messages, but I also got a ton of support, a lot of people reached out saying, ‘Thank you, I’m glad you’re doing that.’”
Despite having established a patient-oriented practice that minimized bureaucratic interference, Bowden suddenly found herself immersed in controversy.
“Prior to this, I actually could not stand politics. I had no interest in it whatsoever — I didn’t have an agenda. Now because of what’s happened, I’m getting attacked for just being an open-minded doctor.”
Bowden recalled how shortly after taking a public stand on ivermectin, she learned of further condemnation.
“I got a text message from a reporter at the Houston Chronicle asking me to confirm that my privileges at Houston Methodist Hospital had been suspended,” Bowden said. “And I remember looking at that — I did a double-take and I wrote back, ‘What, no, what are you talking about? Where did you hear that?’ And then I checked my email and there was an official notification saying my privileges were suspended.”
Bowden decided to take a stand.“I held a press conference because I felt like my side of the story wasn’t being reported.”
Articles appeared questioning why Bowden, who had been prescribing ivermectin to prevent and treat COVID, still had a license to practice medicine. A flurry of online activity attacked her qualifications as a physician.
“My reputation has been smeared because of what I’m doing,” she said. “And it is primarily by a gigantic institution, a company that owns eight hospitals in Houston and employs about 40,000 people. They are attacking one doctor with 8,000 patients — I’m being bullied for talking about what I believe in, based on my clinical experience.”
Bowden sued Houston Methodist Hospital after hospital officials refused to provide public information about the institution’s finances during the pandemic. She described the intent of her legal efforts to The Defender:
“Every nonprofit in Texas is required to disclose their financial information. I made a formal request to Houston Methodist and they completely ignored it, so we filed a lawsuit simply demanding access to their financial data. We’re not trying to get money, just the information. Hopefully that will shed some light on how they profited from the vaccine, or if there are other financial forces at work that have driven them to be so pro-vaccine.”
“It’s likely there are various incentives for things like putting people on a ventilator or prescribing Remdesivir. There seems to be a financial incentive to diagnose somebody with COVID, even if they’re admitted for a bicycle accident — that sort of thing. We will also see how well their executives have done throughout the pandemic. And we want to find out how much money is coming from the drug companies to their hospital.”
Bowden sees critical underlying causes of the continuing problem for doctors as heightened during the pandemic:
“It’s the hijacking of medical freedom that concerns me. Private equity firms and hospitals have just swallowed up practice groups because doctors don’t want to deal with the headache of insurance companies. Physicians feel they can band together as a big group for efficiency of scale and get more bang for their buck, but doctors lose power in doing this. They basically have to answer to more powerful employers who are answering to the government.”
“The government supplies a huge amount of money to hospitals for Medicare and Medicaid and it can tell the hospital what they can and can’t do. Then the hospital can tell the physicians what they can and cannot do.”
“If you’re working for Houston Methodist Hospital, you have to follow what your boss says, which is ridiculous. If you’re a doctor, your patient’s best interest should come before anything else.”
The unwillingness to prioritize prevention and treatment over vaccines has only reinforced Bowden’s view of today’s medical system.
“The controversy over prescribing ivermectin was initially intimidating and isolating,” she said, “I thought I was a little bitty island in a huge ocean, and now I realize that I’m part of at least half a continent.”
In January, along with other physicians and activists, Bowden spoke at the “Defeat the Mandates” rally in Washington, D.C.
She said support among colleagues is increasing. “The truth is coming out. I know of other lawsuits. People like myself are not backing down — the fuel keeps adding to our fire. I have a little Houston network of doctors and healthcare workers that just grows every day. It’s just a matter of us all connecting and getting together.”
Bowden told The Defender she is cautiously optimistic about the future of medicine.
“I think there will be a shift. Patients trust doctors who don’t just treat them like children. They prefer physicians who have an open mind, and are willing to discuss options with transparency.”
Because of her experience with COVID patients, Bowden has a profound, new perspective on the treatment of viruses.
“Prior to the pandemic doctors thought there was nothing you could do for a virus. If it’s a bacterial infection, ‘We can give you an antibiotic,’ but if it’s a virus, ‘just go home and rest.’
“Now I can swab someone’s nose and test for 18 different viruses and have the results in an hour — before it was always a guessing game. So the pandemic has brought about some good things too. Doctors like myself have discovered there are things you can do for a virus.
“And I think that’s a huge breakthrough — perhaps 30 years from now it will be seen like the discovery of penicillin. Yet even with this knowledge, prevention and treatment for the COVID virus is met with an incredible backlash. It’s just crazy.”
Bowden is hopeful about the patient in the Fort Worth ICU, whose wife pleaded with the hospital and the courts to allow the use of ivermectin. “He’s slowly getting better and weaning off the ventilator,” she said.
Although the virus seems to be somewhat retreating, Bowden’s work on behalf of COVID patients hasn’t relented as they fight the disease — and a broken medical system.
“As we speak,” she said, “I’m arranging transportation for two patients from one hospital to another — because they’re really sick and need better care.”