Tomorrow, the state Senate in Virginia will vote on the language below proposed in a new bill:
1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 54.1-2963.3 as follows:
§54.1-2963.3. Treatment of Lyme disease.
No health care provider who provides treatment for Lyme disease or other tick-borne disease in accordance with a clinical practice guideline maintained by the National Guideline Clearinghouse after obtaining informed consent, which shall include an explanation of the risks and benefits of such treatment, from the patient to whom treatment is provided shall be the subject of any disciplinary proceeding by the Board of Medicine for following such clinical practice guideline, absent gross negligence or willful misconduct.
First of all, let me say how shameful it is that we even need to ask for such a law. Really? When we are in the midst of a growing global health crisis?
Here is my letter to my state senator:
As a Virginian who is is currently suffering with Lyme, who has been unable to work for several years now, who has spent all her savings, I strongly urge you to vote YES on SB 671. I am surrounded by other Lyme patients here in northern Virginia whose suffering is greater than my own—we need this bill.
Treatment was delayed for me because a/my primary care practitioner did not know that a negative Lyme test can be inaccurate so she stopped my antibiotics. I would have been fine had I finished them. Then b/ my next stop was an infectious disease doc who, though he didn’t explicitly say so, was clearly not willing to treat me due to fear of reprisal from the medical board. He encouraged me to see a doctor willing to take that risk.
Is this how medicine should be practiced, while so many become and remain so ill due to lack of proper treatment? Think of the impact on the economy, family life, bank accounts. I blog on the topic at http://www.LifeLoveLyme.com where I’ve heard from people in more than 100 countries unable to get care.
Shouldn’t we lead the way when it comes to this public health crisis and allow doctors in Virginia to be empowered to treat instead of leaving patients with this terrible, debilitating illness in the lurch?
Please, vote YES on SB 671.
Let’s hope these Senators do the right thing.