not a real disease, and long-term antibiotics are not an appropriate treatment (indeed, it is a very, very inappropriate treatment). But a number of people wrongly believe that chronic lyme exists and, moreover, that they themselves suffer from it. That creates a potential market for cures, and for vultures to swoop in – and sure enough: A number of “lyme literate” doctors have popped up on lists distributed in conspiracy theory media the last few years, offering various kinds of magic, pseudoscience and non-science-based remedies for chronic lyme, including Daniel Cameron. Cameron is a practitioner in Mt. Kisco, NY, and a real MD: according to his website, he is also “a nationally recognized leader for his expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.” Well, he is indeed recognized in certain woo- and conspiracy groups; his star among board-certified infectious disease doctors and other experts is significantly dimmer.
Indeed, Cameron is a former president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), an organization that has developed their own guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of “chronic Lyme,” based on pseudo-evidence accepted exclusively by themselves, and which offers courses on how to become “Lyme literate”. In fact, Cameron is the lead author of both the original ILADS guidelines and its 2014 update, and has testified before several state legislatures to achieve measures that would protect “Lyme literate” doctors from being subject to the professional misconduct measures they obviously deserve to be subject to. Cameron also makes presentations and infomercials to Lyme support groups. He has also written articles promoting the idea that “chronic Lyme” exists, and recommending long-term antibiotics as a treatment, to be published in bottom-feeder and borderline fake journals such as Medical Hypotheses. Despite the evidence, and professional agreements on those who actually study it, he also offers his treatment regimes as treatment to people in vulnerable situations.
“But doesn’t his practices amount to medical misconduct?” you may ask. Why, yes, it does, and Cameron has certaintly been disciplined by boards for professional medical misconduct, primarily for his failure to properly diagnose or follow up – but rather offer inadequate treatment – to people who were not, in fact, suffering from chronic Lyme. To his fans, however, such elitist cancellation attempts just cements his reputation as a brave maverick doctor willing to stand up to the system (which, notably, can’t included Big Pharma, given that Big Pharma obviously stands to benefit from Cameron-style advice and treatment regimes.)
Diagnosis: Few topics illustrate the problem of fake diagnoses and pseudoscience better than chronic Lyme nonsense, and Daniel Cameron isn’t merely an example of but a leader in the scam that is ILADs and chronic Lyme treatment. A real threat to civilization.
Hat-tip: Jann Bellamy@Sciencebasedmedicine