Vermont Senate to debate Lyme disease bill

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Doctors and other health professionals would be immune from professional conduct charges if they pursued a hotly debated course of treatment for Lyme disease under a bill in the Vermont Senate.

Some doctors are advocating long-term prescriptions for antibiotics as a way to address the chronic symptoms of Lyme disease. Others question the effectiveness of that type of therapy and say overuse of antibiotics carries its own dangers, including the development of drug-resistant diseases.

The bill before the Senate — already passed by the House — would immunize health professionals against prosecution on unprofessional conduct charges if they prescribe long-term antibiotics for Lyme or other tick-borne diseases.

The bill would not excuse errors or other unprofessional conduct in the course of that treatment.

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