1 August 2011
A summary of recent M.E. related stories in the news. Headlines appearing in the media as dated.
Far more biomedical research needed
Researchers and scientists, including Professor Simon Wessley, say they are being subjected to a campaign of abuse by people who object to their research into M.E./CFS. A spokesman for Action for M.E. said: “We strongly advocate the need for far more biomedical research to identify biomarkers which can aid diagnosis and of course more effective treatments and a cure for M.E. We too do not condone death threats or abuse and emphasise that such action comes from a very small minority of the 250,000 men, women and children across the UK who are affected by this very debilitating illness.” Jenny Halliwell, who has had M.E. for 12 years, talks about living with the illness. She says, “It’s not psychological, as my doctor confirmed, and I’m not against psychiatrists – I welcome anyone that can help.”
Daily Mail, p 14 and online
People with M.E. are the real victims
Writing about about scientists who say they have faced abuse and death threats because of their research into M.E., David Allaby, a parent of a child with M.E., says that no-one should have to endure threats of violence or intimidation. But the real victims of M.E. are not the scientists who fear intimidation but the thousands of people living with the illness.
Public Service, online
M.E. researchers put off by abuse, says Prof
Dr Charles Shepherd, M.E. Association, says that personal intimidation of M.E. reseachers is unacceptable but also “the anger, the frustration, is due to the fact that all this effort, all this government-funding, has just been going to the psychological side," he said. He also says that much more biomedical research into the illness needs to be done.
Daily Telegraph, p 6
Irish Independent, online
Morning Star, p 5 and online
Public Service, online
Daily Mail, online
Virgin Media, online
Yahoo! UK & Ireland, online
Explanation for illness might improve treatment
A psychiatric explanation would not delegitimise CFS, says the Economist’s Babbage blog, and might improve treatment to help patients recover.
Determined to carry on research
Dr Esther Crawley, a senior lecturer at Bristol University and a consultant paediatrician at Bath and Bristol CFS/M.E. service, says she is determined to carry on her research into M.E. despite harassment and death threats. She said other experts had stopped their research and that was a tragedy.
Bristol Evening Post, p 3 and online
Rod Liddle on people with M.E.
Writing about Professor Simon Wessely and his interview on the Today programme about M.E. researchers being intimidated, Rod Liddle claims that some people with M.E. are determined to “cling with grim and livid determination to a non-existent biomedical explanation” for the illness.
The Sunday Times, p 21 and online
TV-style watershed for radio
The BBC has been urged to introduce a TV-style watershed for radio after its Radio 4 Today programme broadcast the words ‘bull***t’ and ‘b*****ds’ during a report about the abuse aimed and intimidation faced by M.E. researchers.
Sunday Express, p 1, 6 and 7 and online
Scottish Sunday Express, p6
M.E. and Oxford criteria
In a rapid response letter to the editor, Malcolm Hooper, Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Sunderland, says that, although claiming to do so, Peter White and his colleagues do not study M.E.; they use their own Oxford criteria that select people with psychiatric disorders in which chronic fatigue is a feature.
British Medical Journal, online
M.E. services survey
In a letter to the editor, Action for M.E.’s Sir Peter Spencer asks local people who have used specialist NHS CFS/M.E. services to complete the charity’s survey* by 12 August.
Cynon Valley Leader, p 20
*NB. InterAction readers – this survey may be found on pp 13-14 of your summer issue
Gwent Gazette, p 20
Negative impact on perception of disability
Writing on the subject of assisted suicide, activist and playwright Paddy Masefield, who has M.E., says he believes that its sanctioning in the UK would have a massively negative effect on how we see disabled people.
Disability Now, online
Meeting in Sussex
The Sussex M.E. Society is holding a special meeting at Hove Town Hall, 9 September. Topics will include the diagnosis and management of the debilitating illness. Call 01273 674828 for details or visit www.measussex.org.uk.
Brighton Argus, p 2
Always wanted to be a film-maker
Sarah Short had to put her nursing degree on hold because of M.E. Having always wanted to be a film-maker, she has now recovered enough to start shooting her first documentary.
Falkirk Herald, p 25
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The information contained within each press summary is provided for your personal information only. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Action for M.E.