A new federal lawsuit filed against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer claims the coronavirus curve “has flattened,” and Michigan’s state of emergency is unconstitutionally blocking health care services.
UpNorthLive reports Several physicians and a patient are a part of a lawsuit filed Tuesday against Governor Whitmer and other state leaders in federal court.
The lawsuit was filed against Governor Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Robert Gordon, Director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, in conjunction with Miller Johnson Law Firm, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on behalf of three medical practices who say they are unable to provide necessary care.
A patient, who said they are not able to schedule an important surgery due to current executive orders, is also involved in the lawsuit.
One plaintiff, Grand Health Partners, operates in the Grand Rapids area.
Grand Health Partners performs endoscopies and other elective surgeries, many of which were deemed nonessential by executive order.
According to the complaint, many patients of Grand Health Partners, including one needing to repair a damaged feeding tube, were unable to be treated.
Another patient said they were forced to postpone gallbladder surgery and ended up developing gangrene, according to the complaint.
“This shutdown is risking lives and imperiling health,” said Dr. Randal Baker, president of Grand Health Partners and a practicing surgeon. “The curve has been flattened. There will likely be spikes of cases in the future, but we can’t shut down non-COVID health care every time. We need to reassess the best practices to save the most lives, particularly where COVID-19 cases are low.”
Two other plaintiffs, the Wellston Medical Center and Primary Health Services, two family practice and urgent care clinics in Wellston and Ludington, said they have experienced similar challenges.
Jordan Warnsholz, a physician assistant and owner of both practices, said he’s experienced firsthand the damage from the shutdown.
“Not only has this shutdown harmed my employees and my practice, but it has put my patients directly at risk,” said Warnsholz. “These oppressive executive orders are meant to save lives, but instead, they are endangering many of them.”
“Under both the state constitution and federal law, the governor doesn’t have the power to unilaterally shut down health care providers in the state,” said Patrick Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation and vice president of legal affairs at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.