The Need for Clinical Judgment in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease

Elizabeth L. Maloney, M.D.

ABSTRACT

Clinical practice guidelines are increasing in number. Unfortunately, when scientific evidence is uncertain, limited, or evolving, as is often the case, conflict often arises between guideline committees and practicing physicians, who bear the direct responsibility for the care of individual patients. The 2006 Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines for Lyme disease, which have limited scientific support, could, if implemented, limit the clinical discretion of treating physicians and the treatment options available to patients.

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