CT Doctor Protection Bill Passes House
April 30, 2009- Connecticut Lyme groups and the national Lyme Disease Association, Inc. are pleased to announce that H.B. 6200, with a floor amendment by Representative Betsy Ritter et al., passed through the Connecticut House of Representatives.
The House vote was unanimously in support of the bill by a final vote of 137 to 0.
The discussion on the floor this morning clearly delineated the protective intent of the bill. The bill will now proceed to the Senate for consideration.
H.B. 6200 contains language that will protect CT licensed Lyme treating physicians from prosecution by the State of Connecticut Medical Examining Board solely on the basis of a clinical diagnosis and /or for treatment of long-term Lyme disease.
The bill provides the definition for Lyme disease which includes , “the presence in a patient of signs and symptoms compatible with acute infection with Borrelia burgdorferi; or with late stage or persistent or chronic infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, or with complications related to such an infection.”
It also defines clinical diagnosis as determined by a physician “…that is based on knowledge obtained through the medical history and physical examination alone, or in conjunction with the testing that provides supportive data for such clinical diagnosis.” In addition, it provides for updating the definition if other strains are found to cause Lyme disease.
The final bill was the result of months of negotiations between Legislative leaders, the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the undersigned groups representing patients.
We would like to thank Representatives Jason Bartlett, Kim Fawcett, Chris Lyddy , Peggy Reeves and all of the legislators who supported this bill.
We would also like to thank the Legislative leadership for taking time from their busy schedules to meet with us over the past several weeks. We particularly thank the joint Public Health Committee Chairs, Representative Betsy Ritter and Senator Jonathan Harris and the Public Health Committee for understanding this complex issue and its importance to patients in CT.
We would like to extend our appreciation to the patients, families and members of the Lyme community who wrote letters, made phone calls and testified in support of H.B. 6200.
We have confidence that the Connecticut Senate will fulfill its commitment to CT residents and pass this important piece of legislation intact.
For updates and wording on the bill, please go to http://www.cga.ct.gov/
Lyme Disease Association, Inc.
Newtown Lyme Disease Task Force
Ridgefield Lyme Disease Task Force
Time For Lyme, Inc.
Eastern Connecticut Chapter Lyme Disease Association