Sunday, March 15, 2009

Not so NICE

The message below refers to the recent UK high court judicial review of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (sic) guidelines on ME. See also:

Message from Kevin Short

(One of the Claimants who brought the [NICE judicial review] case)


From the ashes of a certain legal case I am reminded of the words of the late Dr Melvin Ramsay, that wonderful ME sage and still ever present thorn in the flesh of establishment expediency:

"When, on occasion of a... ITV programme on the subject of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, an immunologist stated the 'ME and PVFS are regarded as synonymous' I realised my objection to the latter term was fully justified and that it was incumbent on me to show that such a statement is blatantly untrue."[1]

Quite right. ME is NOT a bit of short-term post viral 'fatigue', neither is it a bit of short-term post viral fatigue compounded by depression and misplaced beliefs that one has a multi-system neurological disease - that in turn leads to muscle-deconditioning.

NO; Myalgic Encephalomyelitis IS a multi-system neurological disorder, and rightly recognised as such by the WHO since 1969. It is a serious disease that destroys lives and leads to early death through organ-failure in a significant minority of patients.[2]

All this is NOT mere 'outdated' Ramsay rhetoric, IT IS ESTABLISHED MEDICO SCIENTIFIC FACT.[3]

There are literally thousands of erudite and peer-reviewed biomedical studies which testify to this - and the gathering tide of such evidence swells and grows in number bringing with it the inevitable truth that one day will be undeniable: that ME is NOT the same as 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome',

ME is NOT the same thing as 'Chronic Fatigue',

ME is NOT the same thing as 'Idiopathic or
Unexplained Fatigue',

NOR is ME the same thing as the latest NICE-sponsored crass abuse of medical taxonomy: "CFS/ME". ME patients should NOT be treated the same as Idiopathic Chronic fatigue patients, and to produce a State Guideline that does so under the misleading label of 'clinical excellence' is a national disgrace. It makes about as much sense as giving the same treatment to dental and brain-tumour patients under the dubious label of 'Chronic Head-Pain Syndrome'.

Like King Canute and his powerful friends in his court, one day the lie of those who seek to neglect, misrepresent and abuse medical taxonomy and science - including those indulging in political skulduggery with the WHO International Classification of Diseases - will be overwhelmed by the tide. The ever rising tide of biomedical scientific FACT.

They will be shown up for what they are.

Forgive me for borrowing a few words from another British sage. This time from one who was partial to a bit of rhetoric: "...we may have had our Dunkirk, but we will go on fighting and we will win the war."[4]

Kevin Short.

[Permission to repost].


[1] The Clinical Identity of the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Syndrome; By Dr A Melvin Ramsay MA MD; Leaflet published by the ME Association (UK).


[3] See, for example, M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) BASIC INFORMATION, at:

(this link may take time to open as it's a large PDF file. Remember to use your browser back button to return here)

[4] The words of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill; Prime Minister and First Lord of the Admiralty.

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