Empire State Lyme Disease Association, Inc
PO Box 874 Manorville, NY 11949 631-878-6657
New York State Department of Health, OPMC and BPMC
June 20, 2013
Dear Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., Commissioner, and Kendrick Sears, MD, Head of the Board for Professional Medical Conduct:
The NYS Department of Health, the Office of Professional Medical Conduct, (OPMC) and Board for Professional Medical Conduct (BPMC) are charged with protecting the public from medical negligence, incompetence and illegal or unethical practice by physicians. In consideration of your duties, I respectfully request that the OPMC immediately cease and desist all investigations and charges against our Lyme doctors.
Aside from thousands of patients who state their Lyme doctors saved them, there is a question of the legality of what you are doing. New York stipulations, memorandums, resolutions, laws and indeed, recent findings of your own OPMC clearly indicate that our doctors should be hailed as heroes. Instead, due to what many fear is your offices’ malfeasance at worst or incompetence at best, our doctors are literally being persecuted. Courageous, compassionate, intelligent, they follow scientific literature, yet, they are quite able to think of new perspectives that go beyond formulaic “Lyme” protocols which were only supposed to be guidelines in the first place. Guidelines are not law! Doctors who do what is medically necessary (and protected by law) should be appreciated, period.
Legal documents include, but are not limited to 2002 NYS Assembly Resolution 2155, Article 131 of the NYS Education Law, the Memorandum of 2005 which was signed by Governor Pataki and then OPMC Director Dennis Graziano, Chapter 477 of the NYS Education Law, passed by the NYS Legislature and signed by Governor Paterson in 2008, and the actual findings by the OPMC of OPMC cases against our doctors from the recent past. (More information is available upon request.)
Sadly some have not stopped at the persecution of our doctors. Patient advocates across this country and in other countries have been harassed and threatened. I hope that no NYS Health Department employee from the highest to the lowest level feels anger toward me for writing this letter. As president of this organization, I haven’t done anything other than ask that you cease and desist your attacks. Note that our board and regular members can and will speak on their own behalf.
Perhaps the OPMC feels that they have too much time and effort invested in these actions against our doctors, to withdraw. In 2007, this was the only reason a Medical Board Director gave for continuing a trial of one of our beloved Lyme doctors in another state. Whatever reason you may have for continuing these unjust actions, if they do continue, I have no doubt that patients will be coming forward and I also believe that attorneys will come forward to assist us in however many lawsuits (against you) that might arise.
Eva Haughie, President, Empire State Lyme Disease Association