Dr. Charles Ray Jones Is Facing Criticism For His Treatment Of Chronic Lyme Disease

Excerpted from the Hartford Advocate  ( Posted: 07/13/2010 )

This spring, Dr. Charles Ray Jones, a controversial and internationally known expert on Lyme disease in New Haven, was ready to quit.

For the last five years, Jones has been defending himself against accusations that he is violating standards of care. In March, the state Medical Examining Board declared him guilty of several charges.

He’s charged with treating patients without seeing them, prescribing medicine for children he’s never met and keeping improper medical records, among other things.

Jones argues that he has a six-month waiting list. In the interest of time, he orders blood tests before seeing patients. He once continued a prescription for an out-of-state patient after consulting with her mother, who’s a nurse.

Earlier this year, he was given four years of probation, a $10,000 fine and ordered to hire a monitor to examine his patient charts every month. The monitor, Jones expects, could cost between $2,000 and $10,000 a month.

“I can’t afford that,” Jones says. “I realized it’s hopeless.”

One day after learning of his punishment, however, a 7-year-old boy named Timmy came in for an appointment.

At an earlier visit with Jones, five months prior, Timmy exhibited problems like low muscle tone and no expressive speech. Another doctor diagnosed him with autism when he was 2 years old. Timmy’s mom noticed that when he was on antibiotics, his behavior became better. He exhibited fewer symptoms associated with autism. After he went off his medication, though, his symptoms returned to full force.

Jones thought the boy had Lyme disease, not autism.

At that first visit, Jones says, he put his hands on Timmy’s cheeks and looked into his eyes: “I hope I have the key to unlock your brain,” he said. Timmy then squirmed out of Jones’s lap and began to run around the room.

At Timmy’s follow-up visit, one day after Jones received his punishment, Timmy “climbed into my lap, put my hands on his cheeks and said, ‘Thank you for giving me the key to unlock my brain.’” Jones says. “Then he hugged me.”

“That’s why I stayed in [medicine],” he says.

“He came in at a good time.”

For the full article: http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/featured-news/dr-charles-ray-jones-is-facing-criticism-for-his-treatment-of-chronic-lyme-disease

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~ by Rob on July 14, 2010.

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