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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Activism » Letter from Dr. Jones - For Distribution

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Author Topic: Letter from Dr. Jones - For Distribution
Lymeblue
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February 8, 2010
Dear Friends,
It is time to update you once again on the status of the charges that I have been fighting before the Connecticut Medical Examining Board (CMEB). I cannot thank you enough for the many expressions of support and encouragement that you have been sending my way over the past several months. These have made a huge difference to me, enabling me to maintain my determination to prevail.
I also extend a hearty invitation to you to attend the next meeting of the CMEB, which will take place on February 16, 2010 at 1:30 at the Department of Public Health Complex, 470 Capitol Avenue, Conference Room C, Hartford, CT 06134. At that time, the Board will vote on the recommendations of the panel which has been hearing the most recent set of charges brought against me.

History and Overview
In this update, I will focus on the most recent developments in what has become a long series of charges and investigations by the CMEB and Connecticut Department of Health (CT DPH). For more detailed background information, I refer you to my letter dated September 5, 2008, which is posted on the following website: www.lymesite.com
Currently, there have been two separate and distinct cases against me. The original case is under appeal, and the second case pertains to a new set of charges regarding a different set of patients.
In addition to this, we have learned that the court-appointed monitor has brought a number of complaints about me to the CMEB, which appear to be based on his reliance on the IDSA guidelines as the alleged ``gold standard'' for the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. These currently are under investigation, but at this point no formal charges have been filed in relation to them.

First case:
I was brought up on a series of charges pertaining to two children from one family in Nevada, whose parents were involved in a post-divorce decree custody dispute. The children involved in the case were doing quite well and there was no allegation of harm done to either of them as a result of their treatment.
In its decision of December, 2007, the Connecticut Medical Examining Board (CMEB) imposed a $10,000 fine, a reprimand and two years of monitored probation. Despite these disappointing recommendations, this case was not lost. My license to practice medicine was not suspended or limited.
However, the CMEB introduced a very restrictive four part standard of care for Lyme disease at the very end of the proceedings. Left unopposed, this test would set a very dangerous precedent, and could be used against other doctors to shut down the treatment of chronic Lyme disease. It clearly had to be appealed.

Appeal of the First Case:
Most of the charges that I was found ``guilty'' of were stayed, or suspended, pending the outcome of the appeal, including the four part standard of care. The one exception was the monitoring requirement. I was required to find and pay for a board-certified pediatrician, licensed in the state of Connecticut, to conduct periodic chart reviews at my office for a period of two years. This was not an easy task: We contacted over 80 pediatricians before the current monitor was found; he was then approved by the CT DPH.
The grounds for the appeal have been described in my previous letter. One of them pertains to the discovery of significant bias on the part of one of the panel members, Dr. Senechal, who was recognized by a set of parents who filed affidavits stating that he had expressed very significant bias against me and other Lyme literate physicians, including the statement that doctors who treat Lyme are quacks.
A hearing was held in Superior Court to review the question of the panel member's bias. The judge rejected our arguments. The case is now on appeal to the Connecticut Appellate Court; the brief in support of my position is due in April.

Current case(s):
The Department of Public Health then filed another series of complaints against me. This set of charges differs from the first case in that it involves three separate families, with the respective cases conjoined into one proceeding.
Although the exact facts differ, the cases are similar in that two of them involve non-custodial fathers filing complaints.
In none of the cases were any of the children involved harmed; indeed, as with the first case, the children all are doing very well.
The CT DPH called on Dr. Lawrence Zemel and Dr. Peter Krause to provide expert testimony contesting my treatment.
Following lengthy hearings concluding last May, a three-member panel has issued its ``proposed memorandum of decision'' (MOD). This will be voted on by the CMEB on February 16, following the presentation of oral arguments by both attorneys:

* The third count involving one of the families was completely dismissed.
* The testimony of Dr. Zemel was thrown out, with the panel characterizing him as clearly biased against physicians who treat chronic Lyme, and against many of the labs that they use.
* The first count was upheld: this pertained to the charge that I had ``improperly'' ordered serology (diagnostic) testing prior to examining the patients. This seems strange, because, as far as we know, there were no patient complaints or patient harm. It is also difficult to comprehend why pre-examination testing should ever be the basis of disciplinary action against a physician.
* The second count against me also was upheld. The issue here was the prescription of antibiotics to a patient whose symptoms were quite consistent with both Lyme and Babesiosis. I had obtained a comprehensive history from the referring practitioner who had contacted me about the case, and also from the patient's mother. An ER had recorded an EM rash that went untreated My schedule was so heavily booked that I could not see the patient for a number of weeks. I was confident that the patient should be started on antibiotics immediately, and that the risk of not treating would be greater than the risk of treating. The patient did well.

In this case, the panel has denied that charges have been brought against me because I am a Lyme specialist. Instead, it has characterized its findings as generic and pertaining to
medical practice as a whole. This is why we have not been able to utilize the recently passed physician protection bill in Connecticut.

Nevertheless, it is rather difficult to understand why such matters should have ever reached this level, or why their two expert witnesses were specialists in tickborne diseases. There have been no patient complaints, other than disaffected fathers involved in contested custody or divorce proceedings, and no harm has come to any of the children, who in fact have done well.

Once again, the panel has not recommended that my medical license be revoked. They have, however, recommended the following sanctions:

* Another $10,000 fine
* Four years of supervised probation, with a monitor again hired at my own expense


Why I Continue to Fight:
Some of you have expressed dismay that the Connecticut Department of Public Health has spent so much taxpayer money on these charges. You have been concerned that they will continue to bring charges against me until I am forced to close my office.
This process has been undeniably stressful. It has been painful to see so much time, energy and valuable resources being expended on my defense. I continue to believe, however, that it is critical for me to continue to fight these charges and to prevail:
* We must stand up for what we believe and know to be right in the matter of diagnosis and treatment of tick borne disease.
* I am painfully concerned about the lack of effective care for children afflicted with tick borne disease. Because I decided to fight these charges when all of this began some six years ago, several thousand additional pediatric Lyme patients have received an appropriate diagnosis and treatment for their tickborne disease.
* A successful outcome for me will both hearten and protect other physicians who wish to diagnose and treat Lyme disease comprehensively, and will encourage other pediatricians in particular to train with me.
* We must send a clear message to health departments across the country that we will not be bullied, or allow our right to medical treatment to be trampled.

Legal Fees:

I continue to be grateful for the excellent defense that Attorney Elliott Pollack has been providing, and to everyone who has made this possible through donations to my legal defense fund. Please note that Attorney Pollack has achieved some significant victories: my license has not been revoked and, most recently, the decision to throw out the testimony of Dr. Zemel on the grounds that he is biased, will most likely put an end to his usefulness as an expert witness in proceedings against other LLMD's.
The legal representation necessary to oppose these charges has been very extensive and complex:
* multiple hearings have been held, each of which have required considerable preparation and review;
* many hours have been spent helping witnesses to prepare to testify;
* the filing of the appeal has been time-consuming but essential, and has entailed multiple appearances on the part of my attorneys in Superior Court, including three pretrial sessions.
* New charges have been levied by the monitor which need to be addressed
* Preparation and presentation of the oral argument which will be presented to the CMEB on February 16, after which they will vote on the proposed MOD.
This struggle has been costly, and I will continue to require your financial support in order to prevail. We have known from the outset that Pullman & Comley does not provide pro bono legal services, and Attorney Pollack is accountable to the partners in his firm.
To date, the cost of my legal defense over these past six years has amounted to approximately $700,000, most of which has been funded by donations to the legal defense fund. It is extremely painful to think of the resources of the Lyme community being spent in this way. At the same time, it is important to recognize that these charges are not unusual or excessive for a legal defense that has been as complex and lengthy as mine has been. There is a current outstanding balance of approximately $80,000. This will increase over the next few weeks as a result of the ramped up legal activity that will be necessary to address the CMEB decision, the monitor's complaints and the ongoing appeal.
Ordinarily, Pullman & Comley does not allow clients to carry an unpaid balance on their account. They have been impressed by the stream of donations that so many of you have been sending, and have been unusually flexible in this regard. Each time that the unpaid balance grows, however, my legal representation is in jeopardy. It is necessary to demonstrate once again that the legal defense fund is solvent, and will be able to meet the cost of my legal defense.
Because of this, I am asking you to make a donation to my legal defense fund, in whatever amount that your circumstances will permit. I hope that you will continue to find the means to support this fight, despite the hardships which I know that so many of you already live with.
The current instructions for donating to my legal defense fund are noted below. These instructions also are posted on Kay Lyon's website:
http://lymesite.com/DrJones_please_send_a_contribution_to_th.htm
For those of you who may have additional questions not answered by this update, I invite you to send them to me by letter or by fax: 203-772-0682. Please reserve for telephone calls for urgent matters only, given the very high volume of patient calls that the office receives.

With warmest wishes,
Dr. Jones
Charles Ray Jones, M.D.

HOW TO DONATE TO THE LEGAL DEFENSE FUND:
Make Donations payable to: " Pullman & Comley Trust Account-for Dr. Charles Jones"
Mail to:
Elliott B. Pollack, Esquire
c/o Pullman & Comley, LLC
90 State House Square
Hartford, CT 06103-3702

Note "gift" in the memo field
To use PayPal to donate to the defense fund, go to the following web address:
http://lymesite.com/Dr_Jones_use_paypal_to_make_donations_to_.htm

Posts: 983 | From The sky | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jane2904
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God Bless Dr. Jones!!!

Just sent our donation.

Everyone please large or small every dollar helps.

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seekhelp
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Wow, it's sad, but even more sad is this just seems like a futile fight and so many dollars are spent. Shouldn't the LYME DOCTORS with the $$$$ be donating big amounts? I surely hope so. To think of people w/no money needing to send it for this legal defense is a tough thing. [Frown]
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Dekrator48
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Thank you for posting this.

I am honored to help him in this small way when he has devoted so much to so many.

God Bless Dr Jones.

--------------------
The fibromyalgia I've had for 32 years was an undiagnosed Lyme symptom.

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". -Jeremiah 29:11

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Pinelady
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I agree seek. I think this will forever set a

precedent of all LLLMD's. At a cost of over

700,000. And only 80,000 owed I would suspect

they have taken it upon themselves to help.

That is astounding.

But like Dr. Jones stated-what a waste. Think

how much research and patient support that money

could have helped. They who prosecute should be

ashamed. And this not even include the taxpayers

money....But someone had to make a stand... If

not him it would have been someone else. He is a

chosen one. And we will forever be in his debt. Thank You Dr. Jones.

--------------------
Suspected Lyme 07 Test neg One band migrating in IgG region
unable to identify.Igenex Jan.09IFA titer 1:40 IND
IgM neg pos
31 +++ 34 IND 39 IND 41 IND 83-93 +
DX:Neuroborreliosis

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Tincup
Honored Contributor (10K+ posts)
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Seek, seek, seek....

Lyme doctors and their families HAVE made donations. LOTS of donations... lots of times.

They assist in the efforts because they care about what is happening in this country to patients and also want to help Dr. Jones because he is a loving and kind man who sees some of the worst cases and does his best to help these children.

I don't know of one LLMD that hasn't been helped by Dr. Jones in the past at some point.

Donating to his legal defense fund is in addition to having to defend themselves against this IDSA GARBAGE! Many docs have spent fortunes to let them retain the right to treat YOU!

But LLMD's can't do it all.

Anyone who wants to be treated for tick borne diseases by ANY doctor should understand how important it is to keep those doors open to treatment and knock down the ones that are closed.

I am not only proud, I am honored to know Dr. Jones and many of our other wonderful LLMD's.

I can not believe they do what they do, when they have all the reason in the world to walk away and leave us behind.

[Big Grin]

--------------------
www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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Tincup
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UPDATE and more details:

http://www.lymerights.org/html/dr_jones_hearing_february_16__.html

[Big Grin]

--------------------
www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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Shosty
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There is no way that Dr. J. himself wrote this. It is written by a lawyer, I would guess.

We feel that Dr. J. ordered way too many tests for patients who had insurance. Ordering labs is usually done after seeing a patient, not before.

Ordering antibiotics over the phone should have been done in a cooperative manner with a family physician who had actually seen the children.

Parents of kids with Lyme need to be aware at all times that if they do anything improper, they can be accused of medical neglect, Munchausen's by Proxy, or other charges. MD's treating Lyme and other TBD's need to be similarly careful.

By not being careful, it is Dr. J. who has set a bad precedent and endangered continuing adequate care for kids with Lyme and co-infections.

The real heroes are the ones who work carefully and quietly within the system and are accessible to all, financially speaking.

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seekhelp
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Were all the labs ordered at 'specialty' places like Igenex, Clongen and Fry Shosty?
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kathy0403
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Shosty- who is "we"? Are you part of the lawsuit?

As far I and my family are concerned, Dr Jones is both a hero and a saint...

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lymielauren28
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Shosty! Wow! You are BRILLIANT! I'm actually sitting here scratching my head wondering why YOU aren't an LLMD - I mean you certainly seem to have all the answers.

And Dr. Jones - you're right! Who does that man think he is?? How dare him make a mistake!! No matter that he's one man trying to help thousands of innocent children overcome a devastating disease - that's no excuse!!

Furthermore, since Dr. Jones isn't absolutely PERFECT in your eyes he should be burned at the stake! He should have his medical license stripped from him, his reputation ruined and a lifetime of small miracles and achievements thrown out the window. Gosh, I see it so clearly now! Thank you so much for setting things straight!

My favorite line of yours though..."Ordering antibiotics over the phone should have been done in a cooperative manner with a family physician who had actually seen the children". Right. Because all the family physicians I know are extremely Lyme literate and they just LOVE working with LLMD's.

Shosty, some people are damned if they do and damned if they don't. "We feel that Dr. J ordered way too many tests for patients who had insurance. Ordering labs is usually done after seeing a patient, not before". Now if he hadn't ordered enough tests he'd be ripped apart for that.

This has been a very obvious witch-hunt against a fantastic Lyme pediatrician and you should be ashamed of yourself for being on "their" side of the fence. I don't know why you're even a member of this board.

--------------------
"The only way out is through"

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mjbucuk
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Just where is it that I will find a doctor who even wants to try to deal with Lyme Babesia and Bartonella, and who is willing to work with someone else?? Oh wait, and they need to be brave enough to battle the politics too. [dizzy] Been there; tried that.

what a joke Shosty!! [Roll Eyes]

My sons owe their lives to Dr Jones too.

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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by seekhelp:
Shouldn't the LYME DOCTORS with the $$$$ be donating big amounts? I surely hope so.

I hope so too....
But we can help!!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Lymetoo
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OH MY. Can't believe what I just read.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Tincup
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Shosty said.. "There is no way that Dr. J. himself wrote this. It is written by a lawyer, I would guess."

Guessing is not the best thing to do much of the time.

If you want to know... nearly all material put out as "official" is reviewed and edited by a number of people, including patients, group leaders, doctors and lawyers... prior to being distributed.

I just wrote a press release and action alert that was reviewed and revised by at least 10 different people.. including all of the above. The letter Dr. Jones wrote went through the same process. We want to be accurate as possible in all communications with the Lyme community.

Shosty said.. "We feel that Dr. J. ordered way too many tests for patients who had insurance. Ordering labs is usually done after seeing a patient, not before."

How many patients do you actually see who had insurance and had "way too many tests" ordered? Are you a doctor who was consulting... or is this just an opinion based on little to no knowledge of the patients history, back ground, physical findings, etc?

My point is- is it really safe or wise for you to make that determination and second guess a doctor with his experience?

Dr. J orders the tests needed to help make a proper diagnosis. If you check ... you'll see the LymeAid for Kids and LDA donates money for children to be able to have tests who do not have insurance... and often Dr. J makes sure the kids have the things needed... out of his own pocket... and/or by way of donations that come in for that purpose.

Another point... If there is a long wait to see a doctor, tests often are ordered so the results are in the docs office when the patient comes in ... to help aid in the diagnostic process.

Example- I just contacted my doc a while back and they ordered tests so when I arrived and they saw me we could address the problems.

Another patient I know just had routine heart tests ordered for the same reason. Ob/gyns often order tests in advance too.

Shosty said... "Ordering antibiotics over the phone should have been done in a cooperative manner with a family physician who had actually seen the children."

My guess is you weren't at the hearings and/or you didn't read the transcripts. If you had been there or read up on it.. the child in question was seeing family docs .. and Dr. J ordered a refill o a prescription because the child was still ill and couldn't go to school without treatment... and couldn't get him in soon enough. He had a choice to let the child suffer or refill the prescription the family docs had already been providing.

Shosty said... "By not being careful, it is Dr. J. who has set a bad precedent and endangered continuing adequate care for kids with Lyme and co-infections."

It appears you are totally missing the boat. BIG TIME!

Please read the transcripts, do your research and get the facts straight, especially if you plan to continue kicking Dr. Jones. He at least deserves that much.... and at the minimum... we need to at least speak the truth if we are going to make him a topic of conversation.

Shosty said... "The real heroes are the ones who work carefully and quietly within the system and are accessible to all, financially speaking."

I disagree. The real hero's are the ones who stand up to the wrong that is being done to so many of us... and who are out there fighting for YOUR right to be treated.

Bless them all.

[Big Grin]

--------------------
www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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Pinelady
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Well for one I could not get my doc to listen to me

and the other 2 who did could not find anything

because I guess they did not run enough tests.

Or nothing would show because it was hidden by

lyme and the only way it was shown on me was with

antibiotics. So yes, he did the logical, most

appropriate thing that could have been done to

actually help that patient. Give them antibiotics

and order tests. He sure could have saved me a

bundle, not to mention over 2 years of hell.

--------------------
Suspected Lyme 07 Test neg One band migrating in IgG region
unable to identify.Igenex Jan.09IFA titer 1:40 IND
IgM neg pos
31 +++ 34 IND 39 IND 41 IND 83-93 +
DX:Neuroborreliosis

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Shosty
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It is very scary to post negatively about this MD here on Lymenet, but I think it is always helpful to share points of view that are diverse.

Anyone who wants to hear our story can PM me. Some people already have.

[ 02-13-2010, 11:02 AM: Message edited by: sixgoofykids ]

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sixgoofykids
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quote:
Originally posted by Shosty:
It is very scary to post negatively about this MD here on Lymenet, but I think it is always helpful to share points of view that are diverse.

We do not allow negative posts about LLMD's on Lymenet. It is the rule. If you want to post negatively about an LLMD, do it elsewhere.

Also, bashing of moderators is not allowed and any post bashing a moderator will also be removed.

--------------------
sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

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aMomWithHope
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Shosty, your pm box is full.
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Tincup
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Cancellation Notice- Dr. Jones Rally- February 16, 2010

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service forecast for Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 predicts several inches of snow, starting Monday night and continuing into Tuesday and Tuesday night for Hartford, CT and surrounding areas.

The forecast indicates the chance for snow is 90%.

Due to the forecast, the rally scheduled for Dr. Jones on February 16, 2010 will not be held. Your safety is our concern.

We hope this announcement will give those who were planning to attend the rally ample time to rearrange their schedules. We apologize for any inconvenience.

We will keep you informed of new actions as they develop.

Thank you for the outpouring of support you have shown for Dr. Jones!

Please visit the LymeRights website for updates and future plans. www.LymeRights.org

--------------------
www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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