TOUCHED BY LYME: Dr. Jones goes to CT Supreme Court on March 14
The court will examine the question of “burden of proof” in actions by the medical board.
Dr. Charles Ray Jones, the well-known Lyme-treating pediatrician who has been harassed for years by the Connecticut state medical board, will take his appeal to the CT Supreme Court on March 14.
Jones has been embroiled in controversy because he does not follow the diagnosis and treatment guidelines of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). In 2010, he was fined $10,000 and forced to pay for a court-mandated monitor in order to continue his practice of treating children for Lyme disease. (This financial blow came on top of years of legal fees that have continued to this day.)
The case against Jones is one of a number of predatory cases where the IDSA targets physicians who don’t comply with the group’s guidelines.
According to Dr. Sheila Statlender, who has been involved in efforts to support Dr. Jones, the court will not be hearing the entire set of charges from the first case. Instead, the justices will look at a very specific but compelling question: the burden of proof that medical boards are held to in proceedings against physicians. Dr. Jones’ attorney, Elliott Pollack, is arguing that the standard is too low, making it too easy for the board to rule against physicians.
As Statlender explained in an email:
By comparison, the standard in criminal proceedings is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In the legal profession, for yet another comparison, the standard or burden of proof that attorneys are held to is not as high as the one in criminal proceedings, but higher than the one applied to physicians.
If Dr. Jones prevails, it could have the effect of overturning the convictions against him. It also would have very important implications for all physicians!
If this occurs, the Connecticut Medical Examining Board (CMEB) has stated that it would retry him according to the new burden of proof. That would mean additional huge costs for CT taxpayers, for cases in which no harm whatsoever has come to the patients involved (on the contrary!)
Some Lyme patients and activists have wondered if they should be outside the courthouse, showing support for Dr. Jones on the 14th. Dr. Jones and his team have said no, that would not be good at this time.
We’ll all be watching closely to see what happens next. Stay tuned!
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TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- March 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm
Interesting strategy decision — makes sense — focus on the least political issue on the entire scenario. Will the Supreme Court hear at all whether the IDSA can claim that he is violating their “suggested” guidelines (seems to me that whether or not the guidelines are mandatory might be deemed a question of law suitable for supreme court pronouncement), with full evidence of all the other areas of medicine in which they are guidelines etc., or is that going to be saved for the retrial?
Regardless of outcome, they have succeeded in costing him thousands of dollars and removing him partially from helping as many kids as he otherwise would.
I wish Blumenthal were in a position to take on those guys again for violating the settlement agreement with their bogus guidelines hearings.
- March 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm
The explanation to the panel was that the hearing was not about Lyme treatment, yet they had expert testimony talking all about Lyme treatment, including Eugene Shapiro of the IDSA. Dr. Jones also was not allowed to have other parents of his patients testify on his behalf. Yet the complainant’s attorney tried to make it look like he had in general a bad standard of care. That was certainly not the truth, and allowing other parents to testify would have demonstrated that. Even the patients in the complaint got better, and their mother, a NURSE, approved of the care they received. So why was Dr. Jones given such a harsh punishment, more than doctors who have been convicted of much worse? Because, no surprise, it really was about Lyme disease.
- March 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm
Is the bias on the part of Dr. Senechal also being reviewed by the Supreme Court as was petitioned by Attorney Pollack, or only the burden of proof? I’m confused as the earlier article cited both factors.
- March 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm
What’s really ironic is March 14 is Dr Jones’ birthday!! What a present, to have to go to court. He’ll be 84. I hope everyone is planning to have a great birthday celebration for him some time in the coming week.
- March 10, 2013 at 10:11 pm
thank you for the latest news and the date of this importanth bearing.
reading shiela’s comments at the end IF DR. JONES WINS, MORE CHARGES WILL BE FILED ON HIM!!
they just won ‘t give our precious dr. jones a break!! too many PRECEDENTS would be set by his winning.
happy 84th birthday dr. jones; what a horrible way to spend it in court!
we love YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE…saving children’s lives with lyme/co-infections WORLD-WIDE!
best wishes; all my love and 100% support to you.
i got to talk to you lately on the phone giving you directions of where to get my money order from; what a please to speak to this WELL-RESPECTED GENTLE MAN on the phone.
bettyg, IOWA ACTIVIST
43 yrs. chroniclyme
35 yrs. misdiagnosed by 40-50 drs.
- March 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm
When is the legislature/Governor going to stop this gigantic waste of taxpayer money? If Dr. Jones wins this case, the state government needs to dump that medical board pronto. Even if he doesn’t win. This board is totally incompetent and corrupt.
- March 14, 2013 at 2:12 am
DR Jones saved the lives of many children! He deserves a medal of honor! He had the balls to do the right thing, now he is harrassed! Karma is coming to those Dr’s and scientists that downright lied and botched evidence in scientific research! This is too big, we are ready to fight, IDSA guidelines are BS! You know who you are, but so we, the people all over the world! You cannot win against us, there are too many of us! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
- March 14, 2013 at 11:41 pm
It seems that the real issue has gotten lost in all the legalities and it is one of utmost importance! Dr. Jones did not harm any of his pediatric patients, but, on the contrary, he did his job and saved many lives ,or, at the very least, got them better ! Many of these children are ones who were turned away from the traditional allopathic physicians. There is something very wrong with this picture if our system is punishing the person who did their job and doing nothing about the one who neglected to do their job.
- February 12, 2015 at 11:20 am
Dr. Jones saved my life! He has been thru way to much in order to help save 11,000 children’s lives! It is horrendous what the system has done to him. But he prevails and never gives up! He has stood up for kids and our parents when we were too sick or did not know how to!
I love Dr. Jones and the system should be ashamed at how they treated an elderly medicine man! What comes around goes around!!!
Ranson Weber Horse
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