HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE AND COVID-19

Statement by Rabbi Yehoram Ulman
Senior Dayan, Sydney Beth Din

It is normative practice for doctors and scientists to debate the efficacy of potential treatments. For laypeople to get involved in this type of debate is the height of irresponsibility and hints to an agenda other than medical. The same would apply to laypeople trying to endorse a dangerous or illegal medication.

Hydroxychloroquine (“HCQ”), however, is a safe medication that has been used for more than 60 years by hundreds of millions of people all over the world to treat a range of conditions.  According to the American Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) “Hydroxychloroquine can be prescribed to adults and children of all ages. It can also be safely taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers.” HCQ is listed on the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines. This list contains the medications considered to be most effective and safe to meet the world’s health needs. 

COVID-19 is a dangerous virus that has crippled and killed millions. Amongst my own family and close friends are people who were lost to the virus, and who are still suffering from its debilitating aftereffects. On the other hand, HCQ, when used in an outpatient setting, together with zinc and azithromycin, when it is administered as soon as possible to exposure to the virus has saved thousands and harmed no one when given within recommended dosage guidelines. I am not aware of even a single example of someone experiencing a significant adverse reaction to the medication, but I can name many who have recovered immediately upon taking the medication.

Jewish law (Halacha) and medical ethics would mandate medical professionals to utilise every tool they have in their arsenal to wipe out this scourge.

Unless those fighting aggressively against this medication can show that it is dangerous or illegal, they should leave the debate to the doctors and until conclusive research proves decisively that this medication is not safe or effective, doctors and their patients should be allowed to make their own decision regarding the usage of this medication.