Overruled: Canadian physician was slapped on the hand for not following IDSA guidelines… appeal decision said he does not have to follow those guidelines.

This is yet another case of a College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada, overstepping their right to enforce particular guidelines be followed.  The physician was initially penalized (cautioned) for not following “appropriate” or “recommended” guidelines.

The provincial College’s of Physicians and Surgeons across Canada, and federal and provincial health authorities have always stated publicly that guidelines are only “suggestions” for doctors and that they are not imposed upon doctors.  This case and that of many others show otherwise – if you do not toe the line, you are targeted.

Guidelines that harm people and ignore evidence are neither appropriate nor recommended in a sane and civil society.

The very well qualified specialist in Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, and Medical Microbiology who did diagnose and treat the patient in question had a complaint registered against him, not from his patient, but from a neurologist who referred the patient to another Infectious Disease doctor.  Neither of these two doctors made any diagnosis. This other Infectious Disease doctor decided the patient could not have Lyme disease based upon no known exposure to the disease and no positive Canadian blood test.  (This is a disease spread randomly by birds who deliver infected ticks potentially anywhere in Canada … if you have robins you can have Lyme in your neighbourhood… there is no measure for “known exposure” that is anywhere near accurate enough to affect a diagnosis. Serology used for Lyme disease in Canada is well known to have a high rate of false negative results).

The Internal Medicine specialist was a target because he regularly made the appropriate “clinical” diagnosis, saving many people’s lives and/or quality of life. For this, he became the accused.

We are nearly approaching 100% of Canadian doctors who have publicly become known to diagnose and treat Lyme disease outside of the “appropriate” guidelines over the last many years who have become victims of College witch hunts.  Physicians in general are investigated by their College less than 2% of the time. What arrogance of our medical system this is and such an abuse of the privilege to self-police (which can be taken away).

Thank heavens this Internal Medicine specialist had the resolve to appeal the College’s decision to the HEALTH PROFESSIONS APPEAL AND REVIEW BOARD in Ontario.

Upon appeal… “The Board further found that the Committee reached an unreasonable decision to caution the Applicant [the Internal Medicine specialist] for failing to document the rationale and for not following the recommended guidelines for treatment of Lyme disease. The Applicant’s consultation letter to the patient’s family physician, dated December 10, 2010, contained a detailed explanation of the treatment recommended.”

The Internal Medicine specialist was right, he did not have to follow the Canada-wide imposed IDSA guidelines.  He explained his rationale for not using those guidelines to the family physician.  [other Lyme disease guidelines can be found at the bottom of our For Physicians page https://canlyme.com/for-physicians/]

Now one is left to wonder, why can a family physician not make the same clinical diagnosis if they appropriately document their records… THEY CAN !!

Access full report

  1. Thanks, Jim for your thorough review of the case, as well as for attaching the full report. This is very good news, a small step for man, etc. Let’s hope that this encourages other doctors to step up.

  2. Tick researchers recently published data showing that 35% of the Ixodes scapularis nymphs collected from songbirds are infected with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi (Scott & Durden 2015). Songbirds widely disperse Lyme disease vector ticks across Canada, and people do not have to visit an endemic area to contract Lyme disease. Patients must never be judged on whether they have or have not visited a Lyme disease endemic area to be diagnosed, or treated, or registered as a Lyme disease patient.

    John D. Scott

  3. P. Joan O'Grady on said:

    The doctors here in Alberta are so ignorant. I have passed information on to three of the doctors I have seen only to have them tell me that they are not interested. (Information that you, Jim, gave me, that is specifically for physicians.) How do I, tactfully, get any doctor to read the information? When is this going to be mandated? The doctors have so little training in the lab tests that they throw out “It’s a false positive” like they have actually done the tests themselves. I worked in a hospital laboratory where doctors routinely rotated while on their practicum. Never were there any hands on, it seemed like they were memorizing why the tests were done, rather than how. The incidence of false negatives and false positives is extremely rare with all the controls that are done with the tests. They need better and more complete training. This outrages me, my life is over. Sitting, waiting in pain, for help.

  4. Bruce Craig on said:

    Thanks for getting this info to us Jim. I read the full report and it is certainly good news for the lyme community as a whole, but especially for the Doctor that was so wrongly persecuted!
    I only have two questions. I noticed that the report was filed on October 31, 2013. Was it just made public? My second question……is the Doctor involved now permitted to treat lyme patients again?

    • I do not know when the case was made public. I only just recently had the link sent to me and posted it on CanLyme. That physician is only identified by initials so it is unclear who it is for certain.

  5. Great article. Offers hope. This decision was marked 2013. I wonder why Canadian doctors still decline to acknowledge Lyme infection based on clinical observations and treat patient?

  6. Joan Pifer on said:

    I am infuriated!!!!!! I have Lyme disease, been to doctors, passed around to specialists, and neurologist, telling me there’s nothing wrong. when going for a second opinion, the second neurologist refuse to see me, in fear of the first , saying I’m sure she’s doing a fine job,
    After paying myself , and getting blood work done by Igenix ……FINALLY an answer. Now I go from Doctor to Doctor. I can not receive treatment, but none of them will agree to help me along the way, checking blood tests, organs. To try and keep my slightly intact Etc……..such a damaging disease is disintegrated my body.
    I recently tried to change doctors, hoping for someone on my side, when I met with her, and told her I had Lyme disease and asked if she would work with me, she said Lyme disease is very uncommon in Ontario, and Lyme disease is curable……What???? I said, she also stated that 3 weeks of antibiotics will cure you!!! Even though NO doctor will give me even that, yet, my dentist just had to pull a tooth and gave me 21 days of antibiotics!!!!!! What’s wrong with this picture !!!!
    What ever happened to accessing by symptoms, listening to your patience, putting heads together to help solve the problem. NOPE, when it comes to the Subject of Lyme disease, it is a forbidding word, poison, that’s exactly what happens to us. And why the hell would you want to be the whistle blower on a doctor helping someone, it should be our choice what goes in our body’s, but I think the bigger subject is…..this is what I’m trusting to care for me and my well being. I am suppose to be able to trust health care, when I’m sick and in the most vulnerable state of my life…..OH how wrong I was. I am terrified by what I’m finding with rocks unturned, about time we shed some light, and shame on you infectious disease……your suppose to be the top of the totem pole!!!!! Where the hell do we go for help after that??? You literally have blood on your hands. ……..and you can sleep at night. The lack of education and awareness, ignorance, and especially help,is malicious as far as I’m concerned. Have mercy on you if you were to ever get Lyme…………and co-infectious, but you forgot about those ones too……

    • Message for Joan Pifer: We live in Ontario too Joan and know the medical system here all too well. We are using a 3-D Coil Rife machine with good results. You can get our e-mail address through Jim if you want to be in touch. A good place to start is to buy Bryan Rosner’s book, Lyme Disease and Rife Machines at http://www.lymebook.com Hope this helps. There is no help in Ontario for Lyme disease patients. Most go to the US at their own expense or they buy a Rife machine.

      Kit & John Scott

      • Luba McNabb on said:

        Hi, I live in London Ontario. Looking to do Rife treatments to deal with the Lyme’s. Hoping I could speak with you in person.
        My Lyme’s specialist is Dr. singleton in Maryland and I work up here with a holistic practitioner. I got 90% better after year and a half on antibiotics and stayed well after I came off antibiotics for about 9 months. Now going to restart antibiotics but I’d like to give the Rife treatments a try and looking to find someone who has experience to give me treatments.

  7. ruth brown on said:

    To write that the physician was “slapped on the hand by CPSO for not following IDSA guidelines” and that the appeal decision said the physician “does not have to follow the guidelines” is an inaccurate simplification of what happened in the College proceedings. I would encourage people to read the decision itself to get a better understanding.

  8. Pingback: Canadian Frank Papineau sues physicians Dr. Pablo Romero-Sierra, Dr. Johnny Brisebois and Kemptville District Hospital in Ontario Superior court. Trial to start November 26th, 2018 | CanLyme – Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

  9. Patricia on said:

    I dream of being diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease in Ontario sometime before I die from the disease. Having experienced many years of the most disgraceful lack of care here, I’m not holding my breath.

  10. Pingback: Canadian Frank Papineau sues physicians Dr. Pablo Romero-Sierra, Dr. Johnny Brisebois in Ontario Superior court. Trial to start November 26th, 2018 | CanLyme – Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

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