Lyme doc protection bill signed by Iowa governor
Governor Terry Branstad has signed into law a bill to permit more aggressive treatment of Lyme disease than previously allowed by the Iowa Board of Medicine.
The bill states:
A person licensed by a board under this subtitle shall not be subject to discipline under this chapter or the board’s enabling statute based solely on the licensee’s recommendation or provision of a treatment method for Lyme disease or other tick-borne disease if the recommendation or provision of such treatment meets all the following criteria:
- The treatment is provided after an examination is performed and informed consent is received from the patient.
- The licensee identifies a medical reason for recommending or providing the treatment.
- The treatment is provided after the licensee informs the patient about other recognized treatment options and describes to the patient the licensee’s education, experience, and credentials regarding the treatment of Lyme disease or other tick-borne disease.
- The licensee uses the licensee’s own medical judgment based on a thorough review of all available clinical information and Lyme disease or other tick-borne disease literature to determine the best course of treatment for the individual patient.
- The treatment will not, in the opinion of the licensee, result in the direct and proximate death of or serious bodily injury to the patient.
Despite opposition from the state’s medical community, the bill passed both houses of the legislature unanimously.
According to Representative Sandy Salmon of Janesville, the state Board of Medicine has disciplined two doctors for prescribing antibiotics for more than 30 days as treatment for Lyme disease.
During House debate on the bill, she said, “This has had the effect of quashing the willingness of Iowa medical providers to treat and even diagnose Lyme disease.”