There is currently an epidemic of ticks and Lyme disease throughout the country. Lyme disease, if not treated properly, can have catastrophic consequences for patients, including cognitive defects, memory loss, arthritis-like pain, rash, swelling and nerve damage. However, many of the testing done for patients with possible symptoms of Lyme disease result in false negatives. This leaves patients left in the dark about what is going on, it prevents them from seeking proper treatment and can result in weeks, months of even years of debilitating illness.
Few attorneys in the country have done more to protect people from false negatives from testing Lyme disease. Baltimore lawyer Susan R. Green is a survivor of a misdiagnosis of Lyme herself, and her struggle and subsequent advocacy was highlighted in Baltimore Magazine. She promotes a better understanding of Lyme disease and for informed consent regarding testing that can easily show false negatives. Her work has resulted in better patient protection legislation in Maryland and Virginia.
How is Susan Green Fighting to Make a Difference for Lyme Patients?
Susan is on the legislative counsel for a major Lyme advocacy organization, the National Capital Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Association (NatCapLyme.) In 2013, she and the organization has passed the Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act in Virginia, which requires a notification given to any patient taking a Lyme disease test that a negative result does not necessarily mean the patient does not have Lyme. Similarly, in Maryland in 2016, she and NatCapLyme passed a similar law, HB0399, Lyme Disease – Laboratory Test – Required Notice.
The effects of these laws mean better knowledge for patients. As Susan herself experienced when she received a false negative testing for Lyme, it was then unknown why she was having debilitating symptoms. If Lyme disease was ruled out by this false negative, Susan and others similarly situated continued down the wrong path for diagnosis of what is causing the life-changing symptoms. This could include unnecessary treatments for other diseases, or simply living in extreme pain for extended periods of time.
The effect on these laws will let patients know that the antibodies in Lyme disease do not show up right away in the testing, which is why a patient may have Lyme disease but have a negative result. The new informed consent laws make it clear that patients must be clearly told of the high rate of false positives, so they know that simply because the test came back negative does not mean they do not have Lyme. In many cases, patients feel helpless and hopeless without a correct diagnosis. This informed consent laws give them hope that they are not crazy, their symptoms are real, it may be Lyme disease despite the false negative, and they should not give up hope that they cannot be properly treated in the future.
Susan not only advocates for patient consent and knowledge, but she represents doctor’s interests as well. One accepted medical treatment for Lyme is long-term antibiotics, but many doctors are hesitant to prescribe this, even if it is the only option for patients. Susan represents doctors when medical boards try to prevent them from properly treating patients, and she is working to pass laws to protect doctors. She feels that doctors have the right to treat patients as appropriate and when full disclosure of the risks and benefits are disclosed.
Want to Speak to the Authority on Misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease?
If you are a patient who has been misdiagnosed for Lyme disease or a doctor who is threatened by a medical board for Lyme-related treatments, you need to speak to Susan R. Green. She is nationally-recognized leading authority on Lyme misdiagnosis who appeared on multiple media outlets, including but not limited to: The Bottom Line, Working Woman, Court TV, Square Off, The Katina Makris Show, Lymelight Radio, The Dr. Pat Show, Dennis Bernstein KPFA Radio, Baltimore Magazine, “Ticked Off”, September Issue, and Dr. Paul Christos’ Aches and Pains XM Talk Show.
Call or contact Hardball Law to schedule a free initial consultation today.