# 2014-154 - Medical Treatment

Medical Treatment

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–07–31

The grievor alleged that he was not afforded proper and effective health care by the CAF following his claim to have contracted Lyme disease (LD). Although he received a diagnosis of LD from a civilian health care provider, the CAF would not diagnose him as having LD. The grievor contended that the care afforded by the CAF was ineffective and that the alternative treatment prescribed by his civilian physician should have been supported and funded by the CAF.

The Initial Authority (IA), the Commander of Canadian Forces Health Services Group, denied the grievance, finding that the grievor's request for continued LD treatment would be inconsistent with the CAF Spectrum of Care (SoC) principles requiring that: (1) the proposed treatment adhere to scientific principles of evidence-based medicine; (2) the treatment is publicly funded by any province and; (3) the treatment would restore a member to a state of health consistent with operational effectiveness and deployability. In the IA's view, the LD treatment sought by the grievor failed to adhere to these SoC principles. The IA found that the CAF provided the grievor with an appropriate standard of medical care.

The Committee noted that the grievor tested negative for LD using tests ordered by the CAF that were approved by authoritative health agencies, including the Centre for Disease Control (CDC in the United States)) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Although the grievor did test positive for LD using test protocols that were neither approved nor accepted by the scientific community, the Committee found that the CAF's refusal to accept the grievor's LD diagnosis on the basis of those unapproved laboratory tests was appropriate and reasonable.

The Committee also found that the grievor received proper medical care from the CAF in accordance with the medically accepted protocol for LD treatment, and that the LD treatment proposed by the grievor, consisting of prolonged antibiotic therapy, is considered experimental and risky. Until such time as it is proven safe and effective for the treatment of LD, the SoC principles will not permit the CAF healthcare system to utilize this alternative form of LD treatment. The Committee concluded that the grievor received appropriate evidence-based medical care, including full access to primary medical care and multiple specialist assessments, as well as extensive support and homecare services.

The Committee concluded that the CAF provided the grievor with proper medical care in accordance with SoC principles and Canadian medical standards and recommended that the grievance be denied.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2015–11–27

The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be denied. The CDS was satisfied that the grievor received timely and appropriate medical care from the CAF in accordance with medically accepted Health Canada protocol for Lyme Disease treatment.

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