Dr. Meryl Nass, a Ellsworth doctor who has been a vocal critic of official policies during the pandemic and of the COVID-19 injections, has filed a lawsuit against the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine (BOLIM) and its members that alleges the board violated her First Amendment rights and the Maine Constitution, and suspended her in retaliation for her dissenting opinions.
Dr. Nass was issued a license to practice medicine in Maine in 1997, and had no previous disciplinary findings against her license, according to her complaint.
Nass has testified to Congress on six occasions as an expert on anthrax and the anthrax vaccine, and has been quoted in major media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the L.A. Times, and the Chicago Tribune.
She frequently publishes articles critical of of the government handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, suppressed COVID treatment strategies like Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine, and the COVID shots on her Substack.
“Because she was outspoken, the board targeted Dr. Nass as someone to silence,” Dr. Nass’ attorney, Gene Libby told The Defender.
The board originally suspended Nass’ license for a period of 30 days on Jan. 12, 2022, alleging that her continued practice would constitute an “immediate jeopardy to the health and physical safety of the public who might receive her medical services,” due to her prescribing COVID patients Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, and for complaints that Nass was spreading misinformation about the pandemic and COVID vaccine.
One such complaint received by the board in October of 2021, sent by left-wing activist and retired truck driver Steven Demitriou, accused Nass of spreading misinformation in a video on her website, but the complainant qualified that they were “not her patient,” and had never been treated by Nass, nor had anyone the complainant was associated or acquainted with.
Another complaint to a BOLIM member about “misinformation” came from Dora Mills, a hospital executive and the sister of Gov. Janet Mills.
“Spreading misinformation” had previously never been used to discipline a medical professional in Maine.
Nass was also ordered by the board in January 2022 to submit to a neuropsychological evaluation, under the pretext that Nass was unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety by reason of “mental illness, alcohol intemperance, excessive use of drugs, narcotics, or as a result of a mental or physical condition interfering with the competent practice of medicine.”
This order is disputed in her complaint, which states that there “was no allegation against Dr. Nass involving mental illness, substance abuse, or other circumstances listed in Section 3286 to justify a mental examination.”
“BOLIM falsely suggested to the public and Dr. Nass’ patients that Dr. Nass was suffering from some type of mental health or other disorder and tarnished her reputation,” her complaint reads.
“There were no grounds to order a mental health examination,” Libby told the Defender. “That was simply a means to communicate to the public that there was something wrong with Dr. Nass, to discredit her and tarnish her reputation.”
Nass’ lawsuit alleges that the BOLIM’s orders constituted a violation of her First Amendment rights by “chilling [Dr. Nass’] free speech and assembly.”
In Fall 2021, the BOLIM issued a “Position Statement” indicating that licensees may face disciplinary action if they “generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation.”
The BOLIM endorsed a statement from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), a private organization with no regulatory authority, that said “Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical licenses.”
The FSMB is a nonprofit organization that once solicited money from pharmaceutical companies, including Purdue Pharma, to promote the safety and non-addictiveness of narcotic painkillers like Oxycontin.
The organization never disclosed how much money it received to promote “Responsible Opioid Prescribing: A Physician’s Guide” — a document which now appears to contain misinformation about the addictive potential of their financial sponsors’ products.
“The BOLIM’s effort also reinforced to all Maine doctors that, should they voice opinions contrary to the Board’s Position Statement on misinformation, as Dr. Nass had, then they too may be harassed and targeted by the BOLIM,” Nass’ complaint states.
The board withdrew its accusations of misinformation on Sept. 26, 2022, just weeks prior to her first hearing date, after Nass moved to have the board dismiss its complaint against her, alleging First Amendment violations.
However, the board’s case against Nass now relies on her alleged violations of medical standards of care due to her prescribing Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19, and alleged record-keeping issues.
The board cited three examples of Nass allegedly mishandling her treatment of patients.
Those instances of alleged violations were discovered after the board began investigating her for “misinformation.”
The BOLIM alleged that one patient Nass improperly diagnosed over the phone, in another instance that she provided misinformation to a pharmacist about prescribing Ivermectin, and that she had improperly issued another prescription.
In some instances, Nass disclosed these facts to the board herself via email.
Nass’ attorney told the Defender that the board never spoke to these three patients throughout their entire investigation and hearings, and that he had called the patients to testify in Nass’ hearings, who all gave “glowing comments” about her handling of their cases, and were angry that Nass was being targeted by the board.
“The two primary complaints against me were that my statements were misleading and that I was prescribing drugs off-label. My speech — which I should note, was not simply opinion, it was an educated opinion developed after consulting the medical literature — is protected by the First Amendment,” Nass told the Defender.
“And prescribing drugs off-label is a perfectly legal thing to do, as explicitly stated on the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] website. Somewhere between 20-50% of drugs are prescribed off-label. The lawyers on the board staff know all of this. It’s their job to know the law with respect to medicine,” Nass said.
“They didn’t do this because they thought I had committed some kind of violation. They did it because they thought I’m older and I wouldn’t have the money to challenge them and so they could get away with it — they thought they could turn me into a poster child to scare all the doctors in the country,” she added. “It is part of this broader attempt by the U.S. government and governments across the world to criminalize dissent by criminalizing so-called ‘misinformation.’”
Children’s Health Defense, an organization founded by Democratic presidential candidate and vaccine critic Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., is providing financial and legal assistance to Nass’ Maine-based legal team.
“CHD is proud to support Dr. Nass’ lawsuit against the Maine medical board and its individual members,” CHD President Mary Holland told the Defender. “The board and its members have deprived Dr. Nass of her license and livelihood for over a year with no basis whatsoever. This kind of censorship, intimidation and punishment of doctors of conscience must stop.”
“People need independent, thoughtful, caring physicians like Dr. Nass to be honored, not hounded as the board has done,” Holland said. “I am pleased to see this case move forward in the courts in the interests of justice, for Dr. Nass, her patients and the broader society.”
The next BOLIM hearing on Dr. Nass’ suspension is set for mid-September.
To learn more about Dr. Nass’ story, watch her April interview below conducted by Maine Wire Editor-in-Chief Steve Robinson:
Read Dr. Nass’ full complaint against the BOLIM below: