Lyme Disease: A Modern Tuskegee Experiment - Page 2
To put this into perspective: If you had syphilis and your symptoms came back after standard treatment, or if you knew you'd contracted syphilis but were denied treatment, do you think you'd be satisfied with your doctor, your insurance company, or with your destroyed life?
It’s not the 1930s. This is not Tuskegee, yet there is an egregious crime occurring as if the clock has been turned back by almost a century. Today's crime is not racial, but political.
A political crime to limit diagnoses of chronic Lyme to save insurance companies money and to favor Lyme disease vaccine patent holders.
Eighty percent of the Tuskegee patients went around the system to self-treat with toxic mercury and arsenic injections developed in the 1800s. These people were sick and needed treatment. Lyme patients lose their jobs and insurance and scrape together what they can to pay for antibiotics at the rate of $2,000 - $12,000 per month. A disseminated infection requires up to three years of treatment. Do the math. When the money runs out, they seek alternative treatments that can be equally effective, many of which are also less costly.
Lucky Lyme patients test CDC-positive, are treated with a few weeks of antibiotics, with the cost covered by their insurance, and are among the two-thirds who do not relapse.
The unlucky may as well be African-Americans in Tuskegee in the 1930s. This modern spirochetal crime is as morally repugnant as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment but on a much bigger, growing scale.
The Tuskegee Experiment ended in the early 1970s when a doctor alerted the media that it was still going on, twenty-five years after the cure was discovered. It was easy (cheap) for our government to stop the experiment at that point, as most of the 400 syphilis suffers were dead. The expense of chronic Lyme is a burden to the hundreds of thousands of suffering patients, an expense insurance companies do not want to take over.
Shame on the Chicago Tribune and other highly-regarded newspapers for running a story so demoralizing and socially damaging to those already suffering with a debilitating physical illness.
Alix is a Founding Editor of SpiroChicks, a Lyme lifestyle blog.