Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lyme is the law in CT

It's official folks -- after unanimous approval from the Health Committee, followed by unanimous approval from the House of Representatives just a month ago, yesterday the Connecticut State Senate gave unanimous approval to a Lyme bill that offers protection to that state's doctors who diagnose and treat Chronic Lyme patients. The 36 to 0 decision makes Connecticut the third state to adopt Lyme doctor protection legislation, following in the footsteps of California and Rhode Island (in addition to New York, which implemented a non-legislative solution).

An excerpt from the Lyme Disease Association press release follows:

HB 6200 contains language that will protect CT licensed Lyme treating physicians from prosecution by the State of Connecticut Medical Examining Board solely on the basis of a clinical diagnosis and /or for treatment of long-term Lyme disease. The bill provides the definition for Lyme disease which includes “the presence in a patient of signs and symptoms compatible with acute infection with Borrelia burgdorferi; or with late stage or persistent or chronic infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, or with complications related to such an infection.” It also defines clinical diagnosis as determined by a physician “…that is based on knowledge obtained through the medical history and physical examination alone, or in conjunction with the testing that provides supportive data for such clinical diagnosis.” In addition, it provides for updating the Lyme disease definition if other strains are found to cause Lyme disease.

The full press release is linked here. The complete text of the Act Concerning the Use of Long-Term Antibiotics for the Treatment of Lyme Disease, which will come into effect on July 1st, 2009, is linked here.

Another victory for the Lyme community. But let's keep the momentum building. CanLyme's president Jim Wilson has issued the following challenge:

I want to attach another copy of our 2008 letter to the Chief Public Medical Officer for Canada, Dr. David Butler-Jones. He seems to have been able to simply ignore this letter. Please let your MPs know that we demand action. Send them another copy of the letter. Do not let them off the hook here. With the passing of the law in Connecticut we demand to know on what basis our own health care system is refusing input from patients and protection for doctors. Don't be afraid to ask your MP for a response in writing as to what steps they intend to take to enforce the rights of Canadian patients, Canadian doctors and the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation's medical experts to establish Lyme guidelines for Canada.

Please write your representatives today. MP and MPP contact info can be accessed conveniently through the Lyme Links to the right of this article. Together we are making a difference!

No comments:

Post a Comment