California Lyme Legislation

California Lyme Disease Law


Senate Bill No. 1691

AB 592 expands the existing alternative/complimentary safe harbor to include Lyme disease. If a medical practice does not result in death or serious bodily harm, a physician shall not be subject to disciplinary action for providing complimentary or alternative medicine practice, including the practice of Lyme disease. To qualify for this “safe harbor”, the physician must have performed a good faith prior medical exam of the patient, obtained informed consent from the patient, and given the patient information regarding conventional treatment as well as the CV of the treating physician.

Medical Board of California: Physicians who treat Lyme disease longer term are now authorized to review Lyme disease cases. This will ensure that physicians who treat Lyme disease long term will not be subject to medical board actions.

Mandatory lab reporting: Lyme disease is now laboratory reportable. The DOH will call physicians to confirm that the cases meet the CDC definition for surveillance purposes before including these cases in their surveillance numbers.


An act to add Section 2234.1 to the Business and Professions Code,relating to healing arts.
[Approved by Governor September 24, 2004. Filed with Secretary of State September 24, 2004.]
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST SB 1691, Vasconcellos. Physicians and surgeons: alternative or complementary medicine.

Existing law, the Medical Practice Act, creates the Medical Board of
California and makes it responsible through its Division of Licensing
and Medical Quality for, respectively, licensing and regulating
physicians and surgeons. Under the act, disciplinary action may be taken
against a physician and surgeon for engaging in unprofessional conduct,
which includes gross negligence, repeated negligent acts, and

This bill would provide that a physician and surgeon is not subject to
discipline for these particular aspects of unprofessional conduct solely
on the basis that the treatment or advice he or she rendered to a patient
is alternative or complementary medicine, as defined, if specified
conditions are satisfied.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 2234.1 is added to the Business and
Professions Code, to read:

2234.1. (a) A physician and surgeon shall not be subject to
discipline pursuant to subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of Section 2234 solely
on the basis that the treatment or advice he or she rendered to a patient
is alternative or complementary medicine if that treatment or advice
meets all of the following requirements:

(1) It is provided after informed consent and a good-faith prior
examination of the patient, and medical indication exists for the
treatment or advice, or it is provided for health or well-being.

(2) It is provided after the physician and surgeon has given the patient
information concerning conventional treatment and describing the
education, experience, and credentials of the physician and surgeon
related to the alternative or complementary medicine he or she practices.

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