Permission to repost
Heather Walker, Communications Manager at Action for M.E. has issued the following request in response to Margaret Williams’ recent article, "Action for ME and its latest links to the Insurance Industry" http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/AfME-and-the-Insurance-Industry.htm :
"Action for M.E.'s chairman is the father of a daughter with M.E. Our connection with Allen & Overy LLP is through Richard Evans, a partner in the London office, whose wife has had M.E. Richard has been a trustee for many years. Neither is involved in the charity to 'strengthen its links with the insurance industry' as has been suggested. Professor Michael Sharpe is not a medical advisor for Action for M.E.
If you have reposted the misleading and inaccurate text below, please forward this correction.
Action for M.E."
In response to Heather Walker’s request that what she referred to as the “grossly misleading” article be corrected, Margaret Williams thinks it would be helpful if Heather would please answer the following questions:
1. will she confirm or deny if, at any time in the past, Michael Sharpe has ever been an ad hoc medical advisor to the charity (the article did not say that he was currently a medical advisor)
2. will she confirm or deny that Alan Cook CBE is Chairman of Irish Life & Permanent Group Holdings plc
3. will she confirm or deny that Dr Deidre Gleeson, an Occupational Health doctor, examines and writes reports on people with ME/CFS for Irish Life and that she recommends that people with ME/CFS are fit to return to work and that benefits should not be paid to them
4. will she confirm or deny that it is a self-evident conflict of interest for AfME to have as its Chairman a person who is also Chairman of an insurance company that appears to adopt a hostile position towards people with ME/CFS whom the charity is required to support
5. will she confirm or deny that Allen & Overy's website states what was quoted in the article about the firm's expertise in insurance law
6. will she confirm or deny that the quotation from the Annals of Internal Medicine 1994: 121:12:953-959 was accurate and that Michael Sharpe was one of the authors
7. will she confirm or deny that Margaret Williams’ article made no mention of Dr Esther Crawley
If her article was incorrect and the above points are publicly denied by AfME, then of course the article will be amended accordingly.
It is noted that Horace Reid posted the following on Local ME: “On 8th February 2010 AfME announced that Alan Cook CBE was the charity's new Chairman. Alan Cook is Chairman of the insurance group that includes Irish Life & Permanent Group Holdings plc.
In a number of cases Irish Life is currently denying PHI benefit to ME patients on the spurious grounds that they cannot provide "objective evidence" of illness.
In the Spring 2011 edition of "Interaction" (AfME's magazine) they ran an article denouncing insurers who engage in sharp practice with PHI clients who have ME.
These contradictions are the latest example of corporate dyslexia within AfME”.