4 August 2011
A summary of recent M.E. related stories in the news. Headlines appearing in the media as dated.
Mind/body debate does little to help patients
In a letter to the editor, Sir Peter Spencer, Action for M.E. says that Professor Colin Blakemore’s article describing the devastating impact of M.E. on patients, the NHS and the economy is sadly all too accurate, and agrees that the Medical Research Council (MRC) has not spent enough on research into the illness. “Let's hope the MRC’s latest initiative to set aside £1.5 million will attract new research talent which is intent on finding answers rather than continuing a mind/body debate which does little to help patients,” says Sir Peter. Other letters on the subject of M.E. research come from Patricia Dryden, Veronica Jones, Douglas T Fraser and the Irish M.E./CFS Association’s Tom Kindlon.
The Times, p 25 and online
Appalled but not surprised
In a letter to the editor, Miranda Allen, who has M.E., says she is appalled but not surprised that fellow patient Wendie Evison has been refused a referral to Leeds M.E./CFS service by her primary care trust. “I’ve received very little help and sometimes even scorn from the NHS regarding my illness,” says Miranda. “One doctor told me it was ‘all in my head’ and I’d ‘get out of my house if I was on fire’. Another gave me a sick note for four weeks then said I’d need to look for a new job after that. This illness lasts years.”
Sheffield Star, p 16
Why people believe what they believe
David Aaronovitch discusses the nature of belief and populism in disease and medicine. He refers to the recent discussion over M.E. research, and the doctors and scientists who say they find it difficult to work in the field. “What we are talking about here is why people believe what they believe. And it brings together two recurring ideas — that something comes from outside us to make us ill or unhappy, and that we can or have discovered what that something is,” he says. “At which point, of course, we could act to expel it or cut it out. Added to these ideas, in recent times, is the notion that certain people wish to stop us gaining or applying this knowledge, for nefarious reasons of their own.”
The Times, p 21 and online
Bullied because I have CFS
Jessica Thompson, 14, from South Tyneside, has to use a wheelchair after being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome following a bout of swine flu. She describes being labelled lazy by her classmates, and having to cope with bullying.
ITV Border, Lookaround, 6.20pm
ITV1 Tyne Tees, North East News, 6.20pm
Shields Gazette, p 1 and 5
PCT won’t refer me to M.E. service
Wendie Evison, who has been housebound with M.E. for a decade, says she is distraught to hear that NHS Sheffield won’t fund a stay at the Leeds and West Yorkshire CFS/M.E. Service, despite a letter from the Sheffield M.E. Service, based at Fairlawns in Middlewood Road, supporting the application.
Sheffield Telegraph, online
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