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LINCOLN, Nebraska (LifeSiteNews) — Nebraska’s attorney general confirmed in a legal opinion that medical professionals should not be punished for how they choose to treat COVID.

“[W]e find that the available data does not justify filing disciplinary actions against physicians simply because they prescribe ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19,” three top attorneys for the state wrote on October 15. Attorney General Douglas Peterson, Assistant Attorney General Mindy Lester and Solicitor General James Campbell authored the opinion upon request by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Medical professionals have been criticized for pursuing experimental COVID treatments such as HCQ and ivermectin.

But in Nebraska, doctors should not fear a loss of license or other sanctions for prescribing such treatments, according to the legal opinion. It said there is a history of allowing drugs to be used “off-label” by medical professionals.

“Based on these principles, we conclude that governing law allows physicians to use FDA-approved medicines that are unproven for a particular off-label use so long as (1) reasonable medical evidence supports that use and (2) a patient’s written informed consent is obtained,” the legal team wrote. “In the context of this ever-changing global pandemic, we note that it is appropriate to consider medical evidence outside of Nebraska and to give physicians who obtain informed consent an added measure of deference on their assessment of the available medical evidence.”

The opinion also criticized publications such as the Lancet medical journal for publishing a fraudulent paper that ruled out hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment.

“After receiving your question and conducting our investigation, we have found significant controversy and suspect information about potential COVID-19 treatments. A striking example features one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals — the Lancet,” the opinion noted. “In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lancet published a paper denouncing hydroxychloroquine as dangerous. Yet the reported statistics were so flawed that journalists and outside researchers immediately began raising concerns.”

“Then after one of the authors refused to provide the analyzed data, the paper was retracted but not before many countries stopped using hydroxychloroquine and trials were cancelled or interrupted. The Lancet’s own editor in chief admitted that the paper was a ‘fabrication,’ ‘a monumental fraud,’ and ‘a shocking example of research misconduct in the middle of a global health emergency.’”

“When fraudulent information is published in a leading medical journal, it understandably leads to skepticism in some physicians and members of the public,” the attorneys for the state said.

The 48-page opinion reviews the history of both medications and how they both have been proved safe for other purposes. It also touches on how ivermectin has been maligned as a “horse dewormer” and how publications such as Rolling Stone spread a fake news story about how overdoses of the drug had led to gunshot victims being without emergency care.

The legal opinion understands the official position of the federal government to be that doctors are free to try to use hydroxychloroquine as a treatment.

“At this point, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are just like any other approved drug in the United States,” then-Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in June 2020. “They may be used in hospital, they may be used in out-patient, they may be used at home-all subject to a doctor’s prescription.”

“We are not aware of any subsequent statement revoking this guidance,” the legal opinion said.

Read more about hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as potential treatments for COVID.