Steere/NIH Protest '99
"Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage: Anger at the way things are and courage to see that things do not remain the way they are." -St. Augustine
Nov 3, 1999
PATIENTS PROTEST ALLEN STEERE, M.D. BEING HONORED AS "ASTUTE CLINICIAN" AT NIH
Lyme disease patients peacefully demonstrated their outrage at the honoring of Allen Steere, M.D. being assigned "astute clinician" status. 35 patients and supporters actively picketed just off the NIH campus to draw attention to this lead physician's controversial yet predominant guidelines to Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment. Following the demonstration, patients calmly faced Steere at his honorary lecture and encompassed about 1/3 of the estimated 150 in attendance. Many went to a reception afterwards.
Patients came from as far away as Michigan and Florida to draw attention to the solidarity in their community at this outrage. Organization and support were on a national scale.
Although patients attempted to ask questions of the lead physician, none were addressed, and the question and answer period was terminated. Protestors indicated that many attending the lecture were naïve as to the political influences that has lead to Steere's philosophical predominance.
Allen Steere, credited for naming Lyme disease a quarter century ago, has brought his "overdiagnosis and overtreatment" school of thought to such overriding status that disagreeing physicians, researchers and patients have been adversely affected. Patients are turned away, denigrated publicly, and denied adequate treatment and insurance coverage. Physician harrassment has lead to loss of license, practice and fear of sanctions unless Steere's guidelines are followed. Federal research money is directed to Steere followers.
Lyme disease, a tick-borne infection, is the second fastest growing infectious disease in the U.S. With almost 17,000 cases reported in 1998, the actual figure may easily be 10 times that according to the CDC. Although publicized chiefly in the Eastern U.S., this infection occurs on a global scale.
"He's giving a talk as part of a series honoring people for being
astute clinicians, and that's really a slap in our faces,"-Ellen Lubraski, Patient Advocate
"Steere's "overdiagnosis and overtreatment" school of thought promotes narrow, ethically suspect viewpoints and medical guidelines which, more and more, ignore a growing
body of scientific evidence and patient tragedy." – Marleen Oetzel,
"Steere's "overdiagnosis and overtreatment " guidelines remain predominant primarily due to political and historical directives and not from rational science, clinical experience and patient perspective." - Rita L. Stanley, Ph.D., Patient Advocate
Pin by Melody
Links to the Rest of the Page
Pictures From the Protest
Names of Protest Supporters on Sign