Not "reassurance " but proper respect and treatment !!
It is not "reassurance " that is required, but proper respect and treatment !!
27th March 2011
Permission to Repost
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis , is a serious biomedical disorder; only those in the final stages of terminal cancer or dying of AIDS can possibly know what it is like to experience the level of sickness that a severe ME patient has to endure for years, often decades on end .There is simply nothing more devastating then, than for a sufferer to be shoddily dismissed by a Neurologist , as my wife was once, as "just needing reassurance".
I am so angry that this is still happening to friends. I know the depths of despair that this rejection engenders; far worse, I can tell you, than any slap to the face ! It is grossly unethical.
The fact is, any Neurologist who dismisses ME as a psychiatric condition , is potentially in breach of the GMC regulations, concerning the legal requirement for doctors to keep up to date with developments in medicine and medical science (as clearly set out in “Good Medical Practice: Duties of a doctor. The duties of a doctor registered with the General Medical Council: 'Keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date' and 'Never abuse your patients' trust in you or the public's trust in the profession' (http://www.gmcuk.org/guidance/good_medical_practice/duties_of_a_doctor.asp). Hooper 2010
(Malcolm Hooper : http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/Hooper-signed-letter-to-Rawlins.htm)
Given the vast amount of biomedical literature (some 5000 papers) going back to 1934 and the fact that ME was classified as a neurological illness by the WHO (ICD-10 G93.3) in 1969 , was recognised as a specific disease entity by The Royal Society of Medicine in 1978 ,; any neurologist who ignores this is not keeping up to date.
Any registered medical practitioner – consultant or GP who chooses to dismiss or ignore the widely available biomedical evidence , is in clear breach of the GMC regulations and this consequently raises issues of medical indemnity.
As Margaret Williams states : "By letter dated 25th November 2008, the Northern Ireland Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Michael McGimpsey MLA, confirmed:
“I know that in the past there has been some debate about the nature of ME but there have been a number of studies and reports in recent years clarifying that it is a very real and debilitating neurological condition”.
On 23rd February 2010, in an Adjournment debate on ME, Gillian Merron, Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health, stated:
“I want first to put on the record that we accept the World Health Organisation’s classification of ME as a neurological condition of unknown cause”.
By letter dated 28th May 2010, Kay Ellis confirmed on behalf of the UK Chief Medical Officer:
“The Department’s view is that it is important to recognise that CFS/ME is a genuine and disabling neurological illness and health professionals must recognise it as such”.
On 11th October 2010, in a debate on ME in the House of Lords, the Countess of Mar asked the noble Earl whether the coalition continues to accept that myalgic encephalomyelitis is a neurological illness as categorised by ICD-10 G93.3?”.
The noble Earl, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, (Earl Howe) replied concisely:
“The noble Countess, Lady Mar, asked whether the coalition accepts that CFS/ME is a neurological condition. The Government accepts that it is a neurological condition”.
By letter dated 19th June 2008, Stephen Atkinson on behalf of the Department of Health confirmed:“I would like to assure you that the Department recognises CFS/ME as a neurological disease”.
(Evidence that the official UK position is that ME/CFS (or CFS/ME) is a neurological disorder
by Margaret Williams http://www.investinme.org/Article-704%20UK-Government%20Position%20on%20ME.htm)
Very recently, on Feb 2nd 2011 Paul Burstow, Minister of State, Department of Health, in response to Ian Swales MP, confirmed that there is :
"strong international consensus that CFS/ME is a chronic and disabling neurological illness. I want to stress that it is a neurological illness; it is not a mental health problem. "
(Transcript of this week’s Parliamentary debate on ME
In what other neurological disease would psychiatric interventions, designed to convince the patient there is nothing wrong with them, be advocated as first-line / core treatments ? The list of documented neurological abnormalities in ME is long and shocking : please see Malcolm Hooper's Biomedical overview : http://hoopermedical.intodit.com/page/documented-neurological-abnormalities-in-me-cfs.
If a neurologist or any other medical professional dismisses you, stating that you simply need "reassurance" or that you need to heal some underlying emotional issue , perhaps it is time to remind them of the facts : and then demand proper respect and treatment !!