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'Chronic' Lyme disease article in Journal of Medical Ethics called unethical. [Adventures in Ethics and Science]

You may recall my examination earlier this month of a paper by Johnson and Stricker published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. In my view, it was not a terribly well-argued or coherent example of a paper on medical ethics. Now, judging from an eLetter to the journal from Anne Gershon, the president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), there is reason to question the factual accuracy of that paper, too. The Johnson and Stricker paper promised an exploration of ethical issues around an antitrust investigation launched by the Connecticut Attorney General examining the IDSA's process for developing guidelines for Lyme disease. In particular, Johnson and Stricker suggested that conflicts of interest led the IDSA panel to improperly exclude "chronic" Lyme disease from their disease definition and treatment guidelines.

It's true that IDSA has a horse in this race. However, as I noted in my earlier post, so do Johnson and Stricker. And unlike Johnson and Stricker, IDSA president Gershon seems to have a good handle on how to frame coherent and persuasive arguments.

From Gershon's eLetter:

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Swine influenza virus (referred to as SIV) refers to influenza cases that are caused by Orthomyxoviruses that are endemic to pig populations. SIV strains isolated to date have been classified either as Influenzavirus C or one of the various subtypes of the genus Influenzavirus A. The 2009 swine flu outbreak is the spread of a new strain of H1N1 influenza virus that was first detected by public health agencies in March 2009. Local outbreaks of influenza-like illness were detected in three areas in Mexico, but the presence of this new strain was not discovered for a full month.

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