NEWS: “Sometimes a little rebellion is necessary”

The following is the text of Dr. Liegner’s remarks at the World Wide Lyme Rally & Protest Friday, May 10, 2013 Union Square, New York City

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“Chronic Lyme disease does not exist”.

There are at least four possibilities to explain why a person might hold this view:

They can be ‘dumb as bags of rocks’.

They can be character-disordered, with excessively rigid thinking, and perfect, impenetrable circular logic.

They can be corrupt.

They can be sociopaths.

One thing is for damn sure: they are truly lousy clinicians.

In 1991 the Lyme disease organism, Borrelia burgdorferi, was grown from the cerebrospinal fluid of my patient Vicki Logan at the Centers for Disease Control in Fort Collins, Colorado despite prior treatment with intravenous antibiotics.  Her case made the front page of the New York Times Science Times in August of 1993.

In 2012, the Embers Rhesus monkey study demonstrated conclusively in a primate model closest to man, that Lyme infection can persist despite application of intravenous antibiotics and that animals can be seronegative on antibody studies despite harboring persistent active infection.

Lyme disease is the first infectious disease of truly epidemic proportions that emerged hand in hand with another new phenomenon affecting the health of Americans: the penetration of managed care in to the health care market place.

An infection that can be chronic and require a long-term treatment approach does not fit the ‘business model’ of managed care: predictable premiums, predictable costs, predictable profit.  With managed care it became feasible to control costs by defining away the chronic infectious aspects of Lyme disease.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America Clinical Practice Guidelines for Lyme Disease which appeared in 2000 and 2006, insist that chronic Lyme disease does not exist.   These guidelines have proven an effective tool for the health insurance industry to justify denial of reimbursement to patients for treatments that their doctors prescribe.

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