Lyme quack abused her daughters and endangered patients

Irma Rivera Chance, MD was a psychiatrist in Massachusetts. After egregious behavior, her license to practice medicine was indefinitely suspended in 2002 by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine.

Endangering patients

Chance falsely diagnosed a woman with Lyme disease and prescribed her addictive narcotics. She developed psychosis and was addicted to opioids.

As is typical among “Lyme literate” quacks, Chance diagnosed the fake Lyme using a test result from a far away lab, this time in Florida.

One wonders if the lab was the notorious Bowen Research and Training Institute Inc, which operated around that time. Bowen was ordered to pay $30 million to four patients falsely diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Chance prescribed narcotics to individuals known to be drug abusers.

The Cape Cod Times provided more details:

Pharmacists in three lower Cape drugstores reportedly became suspicious when numerous prescriptions for OxyContin signed by Chance began turning up at their counters.

Chance was prescribing 80 milligrams of OxyContin for Lyme disease in one case and for swollen ankles in another, said an investigator who asked to remain anonymous.

Police also became suspicious when they searched a house in Brewster last year. Several prescription bottles with Chance’s name on them turned up at the home, although there was nothing illegal about the prescriptions, police said.

“It was of some interest to us that there were several prescription bottles in one house, particularly a house where we suspected there was illegal drug activity,” said one officer.

Chance also overdosed on prescription medicine herself. A different psychiatrist eventually declared her unfit to practice medicine. Chance died by suicide in 2011.

Abusing her daughters

Medical Child Abuse is disturbingly common in chronic Lyme groups. Children may receive one or more fake diagnoses. The false diagnoses then result in mistreatment for months or years.

Irma Chance’s daughter Mariel describes being abused as a child in a lengthy blog post and in a 22 part series on the Proxy Project, a site dedicated to ending Munchausen by Proxy.

According to Mariel, Irma Chance falsely diagnosed her with Lyme disease and bipolar disorder. Mariel says her mother treated the Lyme with oxycontin. Mariel also describes similarly appalling treatment of her sister.

This is an excerpt from the longer post about Mariel’s mother’s fixation on Lyme disease:

I remember Lyme disease permeating my childhood and adolescence.  My mother became obsessed with the illness and she, my father, my sister and I all allegedly contracted it.

I know for a fact that my father had contracted the illness because he presented with the typical palsy symptoms, went to the doctor and got diagnosed. However, I am unsure about whether or not my sister, my mother, or I actually got it, although my mother proceeded, in her late 40’s or early 50’s to get a double hip replacement due to “complications of Lyme disease”.

The Perpetrator Treats all of Cape Cod for “Lyme Disease” with Narcotics

According to my mother, apparently all of Cape Cod had “Lyme disease” too.  At least, that is what my mother thought, evidenced by the way she wrote prescriptions for OxyContin to pretty much everyone on the Cape for Lyme disease. Of course, you probably have already figured out that this is suspicious because:

1) my mom was a psychiatrist; psychiatrists specialize in treating mental illness and not something like Lyme disease (although she did go on a rampage for a while and began researching everything she could about Lyme disease); and

2) OxyContin, a powerful narcotic, is not the typical treatment for Lyme disease which is an infectious disease usually treated with antibiotics.

Furthermore, it seems like it would do more harm than good to prescribe such a strong and addictive substance. It’s almost like the fact that I got “Lyme disease” gave her the “idea” of it, and then, everyone magically got it and needed treatment with OxyContin…or something else.

And Treats my Sister with… Bile?

Obviously, for these two main reasons, all the pharmacies on Cape Cod became suspicious, but this did not dissuade my mother. I remember my sister having to drink this thick, disgusting looking yellow liquid, which resembled the bile one vomits up after there is nothing left to purge.

I remember my mother telling my sister it was some sort of antibiotic used to treat the spirochetes caused by Lyme disease, and I was glad that I didn’t have to drink it.

Medical Board Findings

Irma Chance (“Respondent”) admitted to Findings of Fact including three counts:


3. In November 2001, the Massachusetts State Police and Board staff interviewed the Respondent after learning that she had prescribed Oxycontin and other pain medication to several individuals who were known by the police to be drug abusers.

During the interview, the Respondent stated that these individuals were her patients and admitted that she had written the prescriptions to them. The Respondent was able to locate and produce medical records for only one of the patients.

4. The Respondent’s fiancé insisted that he be present during the interview and was privy to confidential patient information.


5. Patient A, who suffers from bipolar disease, began seeing the Respondent in late 1999 for treatment of her psychiatric condition. In March 2001; the Respondent diagnosed Patient A as suffering from Lyme Disease.

The test for the disease was done at a laboratory in Florida. Tests performed when Patient A was hospitalized in November 2001 showed that she did not suffer from Lyme Disease.

6. The Respondent had been prescribing a plethora of medications for Patient A, including Oxycontin and Demerol. On November 3, 2001, Patient A’s friend found her in a hotel room in an unstable condition and unable to care for herself. She was diagnosed as suffering from acute psychosis and was dependent on opiates.


7. In early December 2001, the Respondent began to experience difficulties in her domestic life. On or about December 22, 2001, the Respondent ingested an overdose of prescription medication and was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at Cape Cod Hospital. After being treated medically, the Respondent was transported to a psychiatric institution for evaluation and care. She remained hospitalized for one week.

8. The Respondent has been evaluated by an independent Board-approved psychiatrist on two occasions. The evaluating psychiatrist opined that, as of November 3, 2002, the Respondent is not fit to practice medicine and suggested several rehabilitative measures, including further medical evaluation and therapy.

Mariel Chance’s writings

Mariel’s story is long, divided into 22 parts on the Proxy Project blog. The following index is adapted from the index compiled by Monika M. Wahi, who created the Proxy Project.

Part 1 – Introduction – Mariel sets the stage for her story.

Part 2 – Co-opting Diseases (The Family Gets “Lyme Disease”)– Mariel describes that she remembers from an early age how her psychiatrist mother started co-opting diseases in her family and patients.

Part 3 – From “Lyme disease” to “Bipolar Disorder” – Mariel describes how her psychiatrist mother first diagnosed everyone with Lyme disease, then tried to diagnose Mariel with bipolar disorder.

Part 4 – The “Crazy” Teenager – Mariel describes having her psychiatrist mother try to get her diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and addiciton when she had neither.

Part 5 – Medication Poisoning – Mariel describes being medication-poisoned by her mother and other clinicians.

Part 6 – Surviving Hospitalizations – Mariel describes surviving unnecessary hospitalizations.

Part 7 – My Mother Gets a Partner – Mariel describes her mother selecting a very inappropriate romantic partner.

Part 8 – Kidnapped at a Hotel – Mariel describes being kidnapped by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend and being held at a hotel.

Part 9 – Intake at Red Rock Canyon – Mariel describes how she was forced into TTI facility Red Rock Canyon.

Part 10 – Imprisonment at Red Rock Canyon – Mariel describes how she was imprisoned in TTI facility Red Rock Canyon.

Part 11 – Death and Self-destruction – Mariel describes the conditions inside TTI facility Red Rock Canyon.

Part 12 – Leaving Red Rock Alive – Mariel describes leaving TTI facility Red Rock Canyon.

Part 13 – Admission to S.A.F.E. – Mariel describes getting admitted to TTI facility called S.A.F.E.

Part 14 – S.A.F.E. and Phases – Mariel introduces the TTI facility called S.A.F.E., and how they carried out their torture program in phases.

Part 15 – Days at S.A.F.E. – Mariel describes the misery, chaos, and boredom she experienced while in S.A.F.E.

Part 16 – S.A.F.E. Confrontation Rap – Mariel describes a bizarre tool used for brainwashing at S.A.F.E. called “rapping”.

Part 17 – Other Raps at S.A.F.E. – Mariel describes a bizarre tool used for brainwashing at S.A.F.E. called “rapping”.

Part 18 – S.A.F.E. Phases 1 & 2 – Mariel describes S.A.F.E.’s Phases 1 and 2 of their “program” of institutionalized persuasion.

Part 19 – S.A.F.E. Phase 3 – Mariel describes S.A.F.E.’s Phase 3 of their “program” of institutionalized persuasion.

Part 20 – S.A.F.E. Phase 4 – Mariel describes S.A.F.E.’s Phase 4 of their “program” of institutionalized persuasion.

Part 21 – S.A.F.E. Phase 5 – Mariel describes S.A.F.E.’s Phase 5 of their “program” of institutionalized persuasion.

Part 22 – Medication Poisoning at S.A.F.E. – Mariel describes how the patients were overmedicated as well as made to suffer withdrawal at S.A.F.E.

Mariel Chance: Daughter of a Psychiatrist, May 14, 2016

Other resources:

Massachusetts Board of Registration: Statement of Allegations and Consent Order

Cape Cod Times: Cape doctor’s prescriptions investigated