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Scientific evidence and best patient care practices should guide the ethics of Lyme disease activism.

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Abstract

Johnson and Stricker published an opinion piece in the Journal of Medical Ethics presenting their perspective on the 2008 agreement between the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the Connecticut Attorney General with regard to the 2006 IDSA treatment guideline for
Lyme disease. Their writings indicate that these authors hold unconventional views of a relatively common tick-transmitted bacterial infection caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that their opinions would clash with the IDSA’s evidence-based guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of
Lyme disease. Their allegations of conflict of interest against the IDSA resemble those made against the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention in 2000, which were found to be baseless. It is the responsibility of all physicians and medical scientists to stand up to antiscientific, baseless and unethical attacks on those who support an evidence-based approach to caring for patients.

J Med Ethics. 2011 Feb;37(2):68-73. doi: 10.1136/jme.2009.032896. Epub 2010 Nov 21.

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