The beginning, not the end : a response to the new ICC Criteria

Stonebird - this is the beginning, not the end :
a response to the new ICC Criteria
Greg Crowhurst 24th July 2011

(All captions in the film above, are taken from the ICC.)

The health needs of  people who have ME are  beyond neglect.

The new ICC Criteria are  the beginning, not the end point , of much needed change. Until we have an adequate classification system we cannot begin to safely and adequately provide a proper biomedical health service for people with neurological myalgic encephalomyelitis.

By creating this explicit  criteria, a clear focus has been been established  around which a matrix of truth now needs to coalesce so that new tests, treatments and approaches , for people with ME, can be lobbied for and brought about.

For many years, the  Wessely School , which  has immense influence over Government policy,  has been aggressively promoting a conceptualization of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis as a mental illness , a conceptualization  that also  fits the needs of the medical  insurance industry, and now the  PACE Trial  has succeeded in making  ME not only medically unexplained, but also medically undefined; this serious.

The ICC  calls for a  separation from psychiatry and the psychosocial lobby, which has quite wrongly dominated the NHS  and distracted funding away from the dire and desperate need for biomedical and clinical research, into this devastating physical disease.

All of us must  speak out with one voice. We  have had enough of being ignored, sidelined, neglected, diminished and we will no longer tolerate the complete lack of a medical service, for some of the sickest people in the UK and the incredulous association with mental health, denying the physical reality of this WHO classified neurological disease.

The term “CFS” needs to be let go of in association with ME, however people with an inadequate CFS label must not be abandoned to psychiatry. It is time to get rid of or remove the generalising label “CFS” and start properly diagnosing and treating the physical illnesses people have, rather than abandon them to therapeutic rehabilitation , without dealing with their underlying disease.

Currently the term “CFS” covers a multitude of conditions , some people may have ME, some may have undiagnosed physical illness and others may have mental health fatigue, however they cannot and should not be treated the same.


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