February 15, 2011


me+ME: In conclusion, about ME, with legal and moral questions

More about ME. First I meant to write about something else - more about the totalitarian trope of "unity" - but I reread my On the postmodern falsifications in Wessely & McClures BMJ-editorial and noticed it is read rather often, and I here repeat its opening and conclusion, and refer you to the last link if you want to read the editorial and my comments. And no, there is considerably more I could say under my title of today, but the following seems quite sensible to me, nearly a year later:


I am still not at all well, but will today deal with a recent editorial in the British Medical Journal, signed by professors Myra McClure and Simon Wessely, that well illustrates what I wrote yesterday and before on the postmodern, irrational, unscientific, actually media-directed though originally in the BMJ or PLoS published purported scientific research or scientific editiorials concerning ME (which is a disease I - a psychologist and logical philosopher - have now since 32 years).

Below you find the full text as published on line in the BMJ, references and all, with just one addition: Capital letters in square brackets in front of each paragraph that link to my comments following this reproduction of this BMJ-editorial. These comments all end with an underlined "Back" that when clicked leads back to the beginning of the paragraph I comment.

And please note - if you read Dutch and did not read my small methodical essay of ME and Postmodernism of yesterday, you are strongly suggested to do so - that the BMJ is a scientific journal, or at least its editors and publishers claim it is, a claim that I do not deny with respect to other subjects than ME, whereas the text I reproduce and comment on below is mostly in the nature of propaganda and deception, and seems to have been written with the end to propagandize the pseudo-science as regards ME by the Wessely school of psychosomatic psychiatry and to deceive journalists and scientists as to what is really happening in the field of ME - which is basically that REAL scientific biomedical research into the possible organic causes of ME has been succesfully blocked for twenty years now by the pseudo-science and propaganda of the Wessely school of psychosomatic psychiatry.

But judge for yourself - here is the full original text: the capitalized letters in square brackets link to my comments on the paragraphs the capitalized letters start.


      --- and here follows the text of the editorial with my logical comments
        On the postmodern falsifications in Wessely & McClures BMJ-editorial

 followed, given all that evidence, by:


I conclude that the BMJ has allowed the publication of a dishonest piece of pseudo-scientific propaganda, misdirection and misrepresentation - and my main question must be to its editors:

WHY do the editors of the BMJ allow that a position about ME, its cause and its treatment, that is since decades in flat contradiction with (1) the rulings of the World Health Organization and with (2) many findings of highly reputable medical and biochemical scientists, of higher reputations and abilities than professor Simon Wessely, is being furthered in the BMJ and by professor Simon Wessely, especially since the theories of Wessely about ME (caused by a "dysfunctional belief system" etc. according to his in my opinion somewhat deluded mind - if he is not a complete fraud, that is) are clearly unscientific and irrational (or at best only "scientific" and "rational" according to a small segment of mostly British or American psychiatrists with little or no real bio-medical competence or education), and - MUCH more damningly - because the medical and social practices based on those rather insane or sadistic theories have harmed tens of thousands of people in Great Britain enormously, and must have driven many people to suicide, as in the case of Kate Gilderdale, while persons like Sophia Mirza and others were cruelly and grossly maltreated on the basis of professor Wessely's halfbaked claims, opinions and hang-ups?

Isn't it true that if professor Wessely and his few but powerful psychiatric co-workers are mistaken or simply lying about ME the health, the human rights, indeed the lives of many tens of thousands of British citizens have been destroyed over the past two decades?

Since when is it moral or indeed legal to proceed in such a way? Since when may persons be refused medical, social or financial help, while all the evidence is that they have been ill and in pain since years, only because a handful of psychiatrists - surely hardly a reputable science, surely a "science" that for the past hundred years has been shown to have been patched together mostly from delusions or ill-based guesses - says that tens of thousands who say they are ill and in pain are not ill and in pain? Since when have morality, decency and rationality left the thinking and practising of British medical doctors, or at least that group that follows up or covers for Wessely and his co-workers?

Since when is it moral and legal to deny ill people help; to slander their human integrity and dignity; to lie about their mental health and their physical health; and to make it impossible for biomedical researchers to get funding for research into the causes of ME?

And why does the BMJ, at long last, not dedicate a whole issue to the rational discussion, by reputable scientists, of professor Malcolm Hooper's "“Magical Medicine, how to make a disease disappear”", that seems to be a point by point and argument by argument refutation of professor Wessely's writings, and is surely written by someone with more knowledge of biochemistry than the mere psychiatrist Wessely?

And finally, why do British doctors and biochemists and biomedical scientists who oppose Wessely's opinions and stances about ME not get the right to publish extensively in the BMJ or to write editorials in it about the pseudo-science of Wessely and his co-workers?

Since when - at least since the Middle Ages - is it rational and moral that hundreds of thousands, nay: millions of persons, are denied help, denied funding, denied medicines, and denied biomedical research into their condition simply because a few persons with a degree in a pseudo-science like psychiatry claim they are malingering or have "dysfunctional belief systems" or are claimed to be psycho-somatizing, on the ground that whatever illness present day medical science has not discovered "therefore" does not exist and so "must" be "psychological"?!

Since such abuse of psychiatry on a social scale is hitherto, outside Great Britain, the US and The Netherlands only known from the Soviet Union?

P.S. For the moment, the above must do - if corrections are needed, I have to wait till later to insert them, no doubt because my "dysfunctional beliefs" are causing me pain and exhaustion since decades, even though I got an M.Sc. in psychology with the best possible marks in the same period.

See also: Scientific Realism versus Postmodernism and
                 Ten good modern philosophy texts
(philosophy of science)
                 Back to the Middle Ages with professor Simon Wessely
And see with regards to the final question of my Conclusion:
              More on the APA's mockery of medicine and morality

Indeed, what I have learned about On the DSM-5TM and the APA and more - see e.g.  Psychiatry, psychology, CBT, GET, DSM-5 and XMRV - is a reason to repeat my Conclusions, also since these ask some important legal and moral questions, that also apply to what the APA seems to be doing with the DSM-5, that worries many, not just me, and that will, if implemented, cause great problems for many ill people, not just with ME.

Indeed, the chief editors of the previous two DSMs, Spitzer and Frances, are very much worried and alarme about the DSM-5. There is this and a lot more to find about the DSM-5 on ME agenda's fine site about the DSM-5, now also with an excellent summary in graphics:

             Erasing the interface between psychiatry and medicine (DSM-5)

P.S. Corrections must wait till later.

And maybe I should say that so far this year I have kept up with Recent Changes: Summaries of relevant changes on the site.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
     insufficient evidence
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

    "Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)


See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

Maarten Maartensz (M.A. psy, B.A. phi)

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