« Penn faculty sue Penn to stop cooperation with committee | Main | Lawsky Entry Level Hiring Report 2024 - Call for Information »

Thursday, March 14, 2024

‘You don’t want to get better’: the outdated treatment of ME/CFS patients is a national scandal

The British investigative journalist George Monbiot has an excellent column in The Guardian, exposing the decades of medical abuse and neglect imposed on ME/CFS patients in the UK. Almost ten years after the U.S. Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) determined that ME/CFS is a biomedical disease,  and not psychogenic, and over a year since the British NICE did the same, prominent British psychiatrists still insist on recommending graded exercise therapy (GET), even though it has been shown to be damaging to at least half of all patients (and useless to everyone else).

Here is the gist of Monbiot's article:

It’s the greatest medical scandal of the 21st century. For decades, patients with ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome) have been told they can make themselves better by changing their attitudes. This devastating condition, which afflicts about 250,000 people in the UK, was psychologised by many doctors and scientists, adding to the burden of a terrible physiological illness.

Long after this approach was debunked in scientific literature, clinicians who championed it have refused to let go. They continue to influence healthcare systems, governments and health insurers. And patients still suffer as a result.

But some people never give up. Despite an overwhelming weight of evidence, the old believers, including Sharpe and Wessely, have continued to try to justify their model, obliging Nice recently to publish a strong refutation. Protected by powerful friends in the media, they could breathe life into their hypothesis long after it had been debunked. 

You can read the entire article here.

I have been writing about this since I outed myself in 2015.


Posted by Steve Lubet on March 14, 2024 at 06:43 AM | Permalink


The comments to this entry are closed.