Stephen A Hawkins, 08 May 2015:
Re: The long wait for a breakthrough in chronic fatigue syndrome
I am generally quite impressed with BMJ output, but I find it hard to believe that there are still people in this country that are so wilfully ignorant of the real nature of ME and the dreadful predicament those who suffer it are in.
This editorial is so misinformed that I could not do justice to a full rebuttal without filling the whole magazine, so I will just say why your blinkered adherence to the doctrine of exercise for everything is utterly absurd to anyone who really has ME.
ME 'research' very rarely includes anyone who is seriously affected. Recommendations coming from something like PACE are as relevant as cancer drug trials that only included people who had no tumours.
The most ludicrous irony of the whole dogma is that I, in common with many sufferers, i'm sure, ONLY WENT TO THE DOCTOR IN THE FIRST PLACE BECAUSE I COULDN'T EXERCISE!
For my persistence in wanting to get better i was merely branded a hypochondriac, and, eventually, just left at home to rot in bed.
The ignorance of the medical profession as exemplified in your piece, has destroyed my life, and made me spend most of the last 30y both having to fight a serious illness, and be treated worse than a criminal by most of society at the same time.
In the US, the medical authorities seem to, at last, be coming to their senses, and are trying to address this illness seriously. In light of this, it is quite staggering to read the ridiculous and easily falsifiable mumbo jumbo still being paraded as science in Britain's leading medical journal.
Competing interests: No competing interests
08 May 2015
Stephen A Hawkins