Hopkins Physician Says Lyme Disease Patients Create Conspiracy Theories About Their Illnesses
IDSA continues to wage a campaign of denial about chronic Lyme in the face of growing scientific evidence that a very real problem exists. How many more people have to fall ill and die before IDSA wakes up and faces the epidemic at hand?”
Johns Hopkins physician Paul G. Auwaerter, MD, has told the Allentown Morning Call that Lyme patients invent ideas about what ails them.
According to the article, Auwaerter likened Lyme disease to issues, such as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and global warming, issues that lend themselves to conspiracy theories.
“When you don’t understand something,” said Dr. Auwaerter, “you try to insert a framework that makes sense to you.”
Josh Cutler, co-founder of The Mayday Project, says the problem doesn’t lie with patients but rather with denialist physicians, such as Auwaerter, who refuse to take into consideration a large body of science-based evidence for the existence of chronic Lyme disease.
“When is a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine researcher no longer competent to conduct research and treat patients?” asks Cutler, who has been battling Lyme disease for more than nine years. “When he ceases to have an open, scientific mind and starts to sling mud at the patients he has sworn to care for.”
According to Cutler, “Dr. Auwaerter and some of his IDSA colleagues don’t understand Lyme and its co-infections, so they try to insert a framework that makes sense to them. Other IDSA members are protecting conflicts of interest and stand to gain financially by producing guidelines that deprive chronically ill patients access to medically necessary treatment. Rather than acknowledging the epidemic of chronic Lyme, these physicians denigrate patients who are suffering and speaking out for their rights.”
“What’s even more disturbing,” says Cutler, “is that Dr. Auwaerter is one of the physicians sitting on the panel tasked with updating the IDSA guidelines for the treatment of Lyme disease. IDSA continues to wage a campaign of denial about chronic Lyme in the face of growing scientific evidence that a very real problem exists. How many more people have to fall ill and die before IDSA wakes up and faces the epidemic at hand?”
Cutler and Mayday co-founder Allison Caruana are calling for Dr. Auwaerter’s removal from the 2015 IDSA Guidelines panel, along with the removal of the panelists who co-authored or reviewed the 2006 guidelines; guidelines which deny the existence of persistent infection (chronic Lyme) after patients receive the IDSA recommended 2-4 week course of antibiotics.
The Mayday Project is holding a protest and vigil at IDSA headquarters April 30 through May 1 to call for the removal of the panelists with the most serious conflicts of interest and for compliance with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) standards for trustworthy guidelines.
About the Mayday Project
The Mayday Project was formed by a group of volunteers who have been touched by Lyme disease. Mayday advocates for more accurate tests, better guidelines, improved access to treatment, increased education for physicians, and more funding for research.
For more information, visit http://www.themaydayproject.org
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