LYMEPOLICYWONK: Lyme Physician Protection in Minnesota
The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice (MBMP) has agreed to a five-year moratorium on the investigation, disciplining or issuance of corrective action based solely on long-term prescription or administration of antibiotic therapy for chronic Lyme disease. Minnesota joins a growing list of states that provide physician protection either through legislation or agreement, including California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York. The MBMP took the action as a compromise to prevent pending physician protection legislation from passing. Any way you look at it, it was a good day for Lyme patients in Minnesota.
The moratorium will allow physicians to treat chronic Lyme disease without fear of an unprofessional conduct action for non-compliance with the IDSA Lyme guidelines. Although the IDSA claims its Lyme guidelines are voluntary, state medical boards rely on them to investigate and charge physicians who treat chronic Lyme with longer courses of antibiotics. IDSA physicians testify against non-complying physicians in board actions. And, the IDSA opposes legislation that would protect physicians who don’t comply with its guidelines from unprofessional conduct action.
Dr. Betty Maloney, who worked on the legislative effort, said physician protection is necessary because doctors have “a real fear that they will lose their licenses” if they don’t comply with IDSA guidelines. Maloney commented that the IDSA guidelines “are based on panel opinion and the panel is stacked against physicians who treat persistent Lyme disease.” She added that “[t]he evidence we have is insufficient to support (IDSA) recommendations regarding late neurologic Lyme [and] [s]cience and medicine should not be ruled by majority vote.” Minnesota Rep. Ward said that “[d]octors should be allowed to prescribe a mode of treatment best suited for the individual,” and described the tabled bill as providing patient choice.”
An article in Vadnais Heights Press provides more information.
You can follow additional comments on Lyme policy at www.lymepolicywonk.org. You can contact Lorraine Johnson, JD, MBA at email@example.com.
- March 18, 2010 at 6:52 pm
CONGRATULATIONS MINN. LYME & CO-INFECTION PATIENTS ON YOUR RECENT VICTORY!
The rest of USA applauds your efforts and those on MINN. HEALTH BOARD for voting the way you did on the FINAL outcome!
Dr. Linda VanEtta may be satisfied as is, but WE LYME/CO-INFECTION PATIENTS ARE NOT!
I've had chronic lyme disease for 40 yrs. last christmas; 34.5 yrs. MISDIAGNOSED by 40-50 drs; completely UNACCEPTABLE.
Had 1 of them mentiond lyme disease and did a western blot igm/igg blood test on me, I could have had many good quality of life years!
Instead, I've had 40 years of hell I have been thru to date with many more illnesses/symptoms diagnosed and being treated for.
Also, ILADS, intl. lyme associated disease society, drs. PROVED much scientific evidence exists stating long-term antibiotics WILL help those of us who become chronic since IDSA, infectious drs., FAIL to treat us long enough!! Shame on you, IDSA drs.
BettyG, Iowa lyme disease activist
- November 18, 2010 at 2:19 am
I think it was about time that the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice came up with the agreement of 5 year moratorium! Anyway, now that the Minnesota has joined hands with California, Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island, I think they are really going to work out in creating the awareness of the Lyme disease. Now that the agreement has been made, the moratorium can now act without fearing IDSA Lyme guidelines’ denial, as a matter of fact!
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