Lyme disease medical legislation is the wrong choice

By Jim M. Wilson
President CanLyme West Kelowna, BC Canada

Although Dr. Itkin recognizes the limitations of classifying a diagnosis into a clean definition, he still supports his society (the Infectious Disease Society of America, IDSA) guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease that narrowly define the illness. Of course he feels this away. He has been applying the guidelines in his practice and may be held accountable if these guidelines were found faulty (as they were during a two-year investigation).

Not only do the IDSA guidelines define many of the disabling symptoms of chronic Lyme disease as the aches and pains of daily living, they use unsupported evidence to propose a “post” disease syndrome implying that the infection was cured by the antibiotics, and anything left over is simply an untreatable possible auto-immune disorder. That is reprehensible in terms of acceptable science practices. Unsupported or poor evidence abounds throughout the guidelines document.

Dr. Itkin further states that he does not believe legislation is needed to allow doctors to use their best judgment. If the medical policing bodies/licensing boards were not abusing their granted privilege of self-policing, the laws would not be needed. However, the abuse of the privilege is at the heart of why such legislation is needed, to peel away some of those privileges that are being abused. Those privileges were granted in good faith, and that good faith has not been maintained.

Nowhere did Dr. Itkin mention that a presentation given at his society’s own conference last year showed the entire body of 68 guidelines (not only the Lyme disease guidelines) the IDSA produce has acceptable evidence supporting the positions stated only 15% of the time drawing into the question the entire relevancy of the IDSA as a legitimate society.

The fact that his society self-reviewed their Lyme guidelines and found them to be just fine, after reviewing all the evidence, is mind boggling to those in other respected scientific organizations. This is the exact reason legislation is needed. The IDSA dominate access to all medical educational material on the issue of Lyme disease as evidenced by the material taught at the medical schools, and published by the US CDC. Legislation is the only way and means to take some of this power away from his society.

~ by Rob on June 13, 2010.

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