Patient says her privacy breached
An Emerson woman is raising privacy concerns after she said her doctor was ordered by a rural regional health authority to stop treating her with intravenous antibiotics for Lyme disease.
Elizabeth Wood, who contracted the disease in the late 1980s and still suffers from its effects, said her Altona doctor was told this week to halt prolonged antibiotic treatment until Wood sees an infectious disease specialist. That could take months to arrange.
Extended periods of antibiotic treatment are controversial in the treatment of Lyme disease patients. Medical authorities frown on the practice, saying it can do more harm than good.
Wood, though, said without the treatments, she would be unable to live a normal life.
“You can’t walk. I was bedridden for years,” said the 64-year-old, who suffers from several other debilitating symptoms in the absence of treatment, including an irregular heart beat.
Wood said she was receiving intravenous treatments at an Altona clinic this week when she was told by her doctor the Southern Regional Health Authority (also known as Southern Health) had put a stop to them. In the past, she’s received the daily treatments for as long as three months at a time, she said.
She wonders how Southern Health learned of the treatments and is upset it intervened. “They’ve got their fingers on my private information. I feel that my privacy was invaded when they called my doctor.”