Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Famous pop star shows British journalists how to write a proper article about Prof Wessely, the alleged death threats and ME

Posted by cinderkeys:

If you've been following the news lately, you may have come across a story or two about a small group of psychiatrists who study myalgic encephalomyelitis, aka "chronic fatigue syndrome." The psychiatrists in question say they've received death threats from ME patients ... the very people they're trying to help! Gasp!

The reason for the threats, they claim, is that patients with ME—a disease that causes chronic pain, debilitating exhaustion, and worsening of symptoms after even minimal exertion—are opposed to research that implies their illness could be linked to psychological problems.

"I have moved my research interests to studies of Gulf war syndrome and other conditions linked to war zones," says Simon Wessely, one of the more famous (or infamous) ME psychiatrists. "That has taken me to Iraq and Afghanistan where quite frankly I feel a lot safer – and I don't mean that as a joke."

He argues that the threats are potentially as damaging to medical research as attacks made by animal rights activists.

The ME community has responded by collectively rolling its eyes.

Digging a bit deeper

Before you jump to any conclusions, rest assured that ME patients and advocates do NOT believe that death threats are a legitimate means of activism or self-expression. There's a lot of anger, yes, but assassination attempts are not on the table.

So why aren't they taking the threats seriously?

First of all, ... Read more>>

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