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Survey into false accusations against families of young people with M.E/CFS launched

March 02, 2017

The Association of Young People with M.E. (AYME ) has asked us to highlight that they have launched a survey to shine light on the real impact of false accusations against families of young people with M.E/CFS.

False accusations against families affected by M.E./CFS have devastating consequences. AYME has noticed a continuing trend in such claims which are not reducing even in light of increased awareness of the condition.

The charity has launched a questionnaire to survey anyone whose life has been affected by M.E./CFS, to get to the bottom of just how common these accusations really are. AYME plans to use the data gathered to inform Government of the need for change and the importance of family support.

National figures for fabricated or induced illness are very low but real-life examples amongst AYME members are much more prevalent alongside accusations of emotional and physical abuse and neglect.

“We are currently working with more than nine families who very tragically find themselves in this position,” explains AYME’s Chief Executive Mary-Jane Willows.

“M.E./CFS is a very real condition and its symptoms can touch every single element of young people’s lives. However, the complex nature of M.E./CFS, teamed with widespread misunderstanding of it amongst health, education and social care professionals, is producing a tragically high number of false accusations.

“This must stop.

“We see safeguarding referrals requested by professionals, the general public and even on occasion family members and in more cases than not, a second medical opinion from a specialist medical practitioner would not only be good practice but also resolve the issue. We refuse to ignore this worrying trend seen amongst so many of those we help, we must do what we can to properly assess what is happening to families in these instances and what needs to be done to empower those falsely accused to get the best outcome for their child.”

The survey takes less than a few minutes to complete and will remain open until 3rd April 2017.

“Everyone who takes part in this research will help paint a more realistic picture of these accusations. We really appreciate that time is short and are deeply thankful to all those who take part,” continues Willows.

“We are keen for the survey to be shared far and wide and anyone whose family’s lives have been affected by M.E./CFS take part – regardless of whether they have experienced accusations of this kind or not. This will greatly help us build up a more representative impression of where things stand.”