Viewpoint: Nass is a hero to Lyme disease patients 



By Blake Rosso

I fell ill with Lyme disease in the early 2000s. The symptoms were severe. The differential diagnoses included multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Lyme wasn’t considered until much later. When we finally found out what we were dealing with, my local doctor treated me with a course of doxycycline.  

The antibiotics didn’t cure me. My doctor was not surprised. He had seen the CDC treatment guidelines and algorithms fail before. He was honest and told me that his medical board would not allow him to continue treatment because the CDC did not advise it. He said that doctors treating outside the CDC recommendations were having their licenses suspended even if their patients were benefiting from the care they provided. I would have to seek treatment elsewhere, from a private practitioner not affiliated with a hospital. I would most likely have to travel out of state to find that practitioner. 

You can imagine how absurd this all sounded to me as someone who had not yet been exposed to politics or special interests in medicine.  

Fast forward 13 years and we are once again seeing the persecution of non-conforming doctors by medical boards for successfully treating patients with unapproved drugs during a crisis. Interestingly enough, lab leaks, conflicts of interests, smear campaigns and attempts at vaccines were at the center of the Lyme controversy two decades ago, just as they are now with COVID-19. 

Dr. Meryl Nass, an internist from Ellsworth, was a Lyme treatment pioneer and hero to local Lyme patients back when other doctors were running the other way.  

Earlier this month, the Maine Medical Board suspended Dr. Nass’ license for “spreading COVID misinformation” and lying to a pharmacist in order to obtain a COVID medication for a patient. If you are interested in hearing more about her case, you can find Dr. Nass’ side of the story at her blogsite: https://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2022/01/my-side-of-story-and-constitutional_13.html. 

To anyone who lived through the Lyme witch hunts at the turn of the century, watching the Dr. Nass saga unfold is like a bad dream repeating itself. 

If the Maine Medical Board is successful in setting an example of Dr. Nass as they were with the early Lyme docs, it will run many of the free-thinking providers out of this state. Top-tier doctors will move to places where their rights to treat patients are better protected. COVID-positive Mainers (vaccinated and unvaccinated alike) will have to travel or go underground to receive the early treatment they seek. Doctors who remain in this state will be too afraid to use their training and expertise to come up with creative solutions when the newest pharma algorithms fail.  

Mainers have been fortunate to have a provider like Dr. Nass so close to home for all these years. She is a model of what a good doctor should be- intelligent, data-driven, ethical, innovative and courageous. For over 20 years, she has fought an increasingly corporatized medical system to help many of us through Lyme disease. She is still fighting for patients today.   

If you have been treated by Dr. Nass in the past, please contact the Maine Medical Board and let them know what you think about her professional competency. Now is the time to stand up for the providers who continuously risk so much in standing up for us.   

 

Blake Rosso lives in Southwest Harbor 

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