Court Rejects Appeal Of Doctor In Lyme Disease Case

By DAVE COLLINS, Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The state Appellate Court on Monday rejected the appeal of a New Haven pediatrician who claimed state officials were wrong to discipline him in 2007 for the way he treated two children he diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Dr. Charles Ray Jones, who has been a polarizing figure in the treatment of Lyme disease, was reprimanded, fined $10,000 and placed on two years of probation by the Connecticut Medical Examining Board. While patients praise him for treating the disease with long-term courses of antibiotics, many in the medical community says his methods fall outside accepted treatment guidelines and are unproven.

The Medical Examining Board found that Jones violated standards of care when he diagnosed Lyme disease in a boy and his sister, both of whom lived in Nevada, and prescribed antibiotics for them based on phone conversations with their mother, months before he examined them in May 2004. The board also found that Jones was wrong to prescribe antibiotics for nearly a year without repeat exams of the children and to diagnose the tick-borne disease when lab tests were negative and signs and symptoms were “nonspecific.”

Jones and other advocates for Lyme disease patients believe many doctors fail to recognize clinical signs of the disease and refuse to prescribe long courses of antibiotics, leading to needless suffering by thousands of people.

Jones, 82, alleged in his appeal that the board violated his due process rights because one of its members was biased against him and because the board disciplined him based on allegations not made in the official statement of charges. He also said the board used an improper standard of proof. The Appellate Court, the state’s second-highest court, rejected those arguments and affirmed the decision of a Superior Court judge.

Elliot Pollack, Jones’ lawyer, said he was disappointed with the ruling. He declined to comment further because he hadn’t discussed the decision with Jones yet, and he said it was too early to say whether he would appeal to the state Supreme Court. Jones didn’t immediately return a phone message Monday.

Pollack has said the two children are doing well and Jones was essentially being punished for curing his patients. Jones has said he has treated more than 10,000 children with Lyme disease.

State Assistant Attorney General Tanya Feliciano DeMattia, who represented the Medical Examining Board, said the board wasn’t addressing Jones’ theory about Lyme disease treatment.

“The board didn’t treat this as a Lyme disease case,” she said. “What the board found was that he violated several standards of care that would be applicable to any physician.”

The board last year also decided to discipline Jones in a similar case involving his treatment of other children he diagnosed with Lyme disease. Jones’ appeal of that decision is pending in Superior Court. The board has approved fining

Jones another $10,000, putting him on probation for four years and having another doctor monitor his practice.

The influential Infectious Diseases Society of America says in its guidelines for doctors that there is no evidence chronic Lyme disease exists or that long-term antibiotic treatment is effective.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash, and infection can spread to joints, the heart and nervous system if left untreated and cause arthritis, numbness and memory problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  • newenglandsnob

    I had the bulls eye rash years ago, and was diagnosed with Lyme based upon that. I have had the blood tests about 4 times since, always negative. But the rash didn’t lie, did it ? Anyhow I was treated with short term antibiotics, and since I always test negative, the whole thing has been shelved by my health care providers. But there is that nagging doubt, as the tests are not coonclusive and they admit it. Would I benefit from more treratment ? I guess nobody will ever know. I don’t think this guy did anything wrong.


    Someday, Dr. Jones and his “outside-the-guidelines” treatment of Lyme Disease will be vindicated as LIFE-SAVING. I wonder, then, will the CDC accept THEIR part in spreading misinformation about Lyme Disease?

    On the flip side, I was DENIED antibiotics by a doctor because, even though I saw a rash, SHE didn’t and so, refused to prescribe them. Now, I’m fighting disseminated Lyme Disease. Perhaps if we began suing those doctors, more would be done to ensure the guidelines would be changed for the GOOD of the PATIENT, rather than for those who benefit from inadequate treatment guidelines.

  • Sylvika Carven

    Dr. Jones should take his case to the highest level possible. He should be applauded, not condemed for his treatment of those that cannot afford to travel half way around the US for treatment.

  • Cantbelievthisgoeson

    This is absolutely outrageous that in this day and age where valuable research and data shows undeniable results in the treatment of Lyme’s that it is preventable and treatable that we have doctors on the review boards even questioning its validity. The reasons for this are clearly financial and if it ever becomes acknowledges that our government would have to answer for its involvement. I personally didn’t believe that government was involved in conspiracies however how can it be denied….. I believe that the German doctor who worked on bio terrorist research on Plum Island located just a mere 2 miles from New York is solely responsible for the creation and outbreak of Lyme’s. It absolutely is a chronic disease and the fact that the government will not admit this is outrageous. People are being denied life saving treatment WHY? because it cost the medical community money. The systematic persecution of doctors that are brave enough to stand up for it. Why are they called brave because they are doing what they know is right.
    I guess the cost of living in the FREE country really isn’t free when you think that people have died to keep this from being acknowledged. I praise all the doctors who are not willing to submit to the man and give up.
    I also am so saddened that people are subjected to mental abuse by the country that is supposed protect us from harm.

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