A French doctor was hauled off to jail following an altercation with a bailiff who had attempted to bring him before a professional council regarding his unorthodox (but legal) prescription of controversial Covid-19 drugs.

Dr. Jean-Paul Théron was arrested in French Polynesia days after allegedly “throwing objects” at a bailiff who had arrived at his practice to summon him to a professional regarding his use of the controversial Covid-19 treatments hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, France24 confirmed on Thursday. 

While early coverage of Théron’s arrest implied he had been arrested for merely prescribing the drugs, a “Truth or Fake” segment on the French network confirmed it was his alleged attack on the bailiff last Thursday that had led to his “brutal” arrest.

Théron allegedly pelted the bailiff with unspecified objects when the officer attempted to issue him with a complaint filed by the Council of the Order of Physicians. The ‘attack’ apparently put the bailiff out of commission for eight days as a result of injury and stress.

Footage of Théron’s arrest posted to social media shows the chaotic scene as nearly half a dozen officers manhandle the doctor out of what appears to be his office. 

A social media post from an account purporting to belong to his daughter claimed the doctor had been arrested while washing his hands after using the toilet, and spoke of the “brutality and humiliation” and “shock” of being arrested while answering nature’s call. 

Another report claimed Théron fainted during his arrest, and he does appear to go limp at one point while a police officer brandishes what appears to be a taser to keep onlookers at bay.

France24 noted that doctors in France “are allowed to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin” and that some doctors are using that treatment method, but added that a French health council had advised against it.

The Tahiti-based physician was recently quoted by US public radio outlet The World describing the epidemic’s resurgence in French Polynesia as “hell.” Cases have doubled since mid-July, with most of the country’s 600 Covid-19-related deaths having taken place in the past two months, the outlet said.

Moetai Brotherson, a member of the French parliament representing French Polynesia, lamented that Paris had been stingy with pandemic aid, and complained that the Macron government had sent only 120 medical personnel to its overseas territory, despite its record-high infection rates. 

While some studies have touted hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as being effective against the virus, both have been condemned in the media and by other doctors, and talk of their use has been all but banned on some social media platforms. 

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