Dr. Burrascano Rally 2000
"As long as the world shall last, there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever." - Clarence Darrow
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On November 9, over 500 Lyme disease patients, physicians and other supporters, in alliance with massive national and international backing, held a rally in support of Dr. Joseph Burrascano and called for an investigation of the NY Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC). The event was held at the Plaza Hotel (59th & 5th Ave.), New York City. Medical bias is favor of one treatment approach for Lyme disease was charged.
A major controversy over short vs. extended antibiotic treatment is well recognized within the medical community; it remains unanswered in the context of current testing methodologies. No scientific evidence exists to insure that the Lyme organism is eradicated within a month of antibiotic treatment, yet this issue is at the heart of the bias charges and doctor investigations.
In the past year, following a massive appeal to the legislature to review the OPMC’s practice of accelerated investigations of specific Lyme physicians, Ansel Marks, MD, Executive Secretary to the OPMC revealed his treatment bias. In his letter directed to Lyme disease patients dated 12/21/99, he wrote, “Rarely, if ever, have the published guidelines indicated that anything more than two to three weeks of antibiotics are required to cure Lyme disease.” Contrary scientific evidence and physician experience were actively ignored and summarily dismissed.
The OPMC contends that the current investigations of Lyme specialists are unrelated to treatment practices; however, the patient alliances strongly question their impartiality.
Following accelerating doctor investigations, internationally acclaimed physician, Dr. Joseph Burrascano, was formally charged with medical misconduct by the NY OPMC in a hearing on October 26. Outrage at this blatant move to silence an exceptional physician with differing methodologies was evidenced on Nov. 9.
A medical community petition and statement by ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) were presented at the event. Patient advocates called for a moratorium on the administrative hearings until the impartiality of the OPMC can be assured through public hearings and to establish a forum to guarantee that patient voices be heard. Patients, whose files are being used as the basis of the hearings, spoke out against this practice, Ruth A. Giglio calling it “Medical McCarthyism. Speakers included Pat Smith, of the Lyme Disease Association, Tom Forschner of the Lyme Disease Foundation, Dr. Anthony Lionetti, Dr. Steven Phillips, Evan White, patient, Lily Grewal, patient, and attorney, Michael Schoppmann.
Lyme disease, a tick-borne infection, rivals AIDS as one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the US. With over 16,000 cases reported in 1999, the actual figure may be 10 times that according to the CDC. Although publicized chiefly on the East coast, the illness occurs nationwide as worldwide.
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Other Pages on Site
Medical Community Petition
Other Supporters and Patients Petition
ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) Statement
Statement of Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, JR.
Statement From an Anonymous Doctor
Text of Pat Smith Speech
Images From Rally
Adrianna Stanley and Rita Stanley, Ph.D.