Vermont passes bill into law that protects doctors who treat Lyme Disease appropriately without fear of persecution from their own licensing boards

[CanLyme note: Medical boards are very good at skirting these laws by going into a Lyme doctor’s practice on trumped-up complaints that make it look like Lyme disease was not the reason for the investigation.  It is now incumbant upon Lyme advocacy groups to monitor for this abuse of the medical profession’s privilege to self-police so that you can insure that, per-capita, Lyme doctors are not being more frequently investigated.  Self-policing is a privilege granted by your elected government, and it can be revoked.  In Canada, the Lyme doctor investigations are approaching 100%, compared to less than 2% of all doctors… a very clear abuse.]

MONTPELIER – It took months — years, actually — but advocates for giving doctors and patients with Lyme disease more options smiled Thursday afternoon as the Senate gave their bill the last stamp of approval needed before sending it to the governor to become law.

“Success at last,” said Betsy Eklof of Colchester, who has traveled to Montpelier to watch nearly every step of the legislation this winter. “We are hoping now to bring Lyme health care back to Vermont.”

The bill provides legal protection and encouragement to the medical profession in treating Lyme disease. The measure responds to the lack of doctors willing to treat long-term Lyme disease patients because of the controversy over prescribing extended courses of antibiotics.

The bill doesn’t tell doctors how to treat the disease, but says that the Vermont State Board of Medical Practice will issue a policy that assures health providers that regulators won’t pursue disciplinary action against them solely for providing care that meets recognized guidelines. The list of recognized guidelines includes ones the Lyme support group favors.

“We are hoping doctors will come out of the woodwork,” Eklof said.

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