EMEA Letter to the UK Newspaper The Times
09 August 2011
There were so many erroneous
statements in Stefanie Marsh’s poorly researched, inaccurate and
misleading homage to Professor Simon Wessely (The Times, 6
August 2011) that it is difficult to highlight just one for
allows Wessely to publicise his extremist views about a neurological
illness, myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), without showing any
awareness, let alone understanding of the disease itself or of the
horrendous situation in which ME patients find themselves.
The European ME Alliance
(EMEA) wish, therefore, to
highlight just one comment made by Wessely where he claims that ME does
not exist in Spain or Italy (EMEA is a grouping of national ME
patient groups and charities from eleven European countries -
including Spain and Italy).
EMEA have performed some quick
research on this and it is quite easy to lay bare Wessely’s
comments. In the link below (from our web site) there are details of
research which disprove Wessely’s comment and surely bury Marsh’s
risible statement that Wessely is “Britain’s foremost authority on
ME” – a statement which surely patients and patient groups in the UK and
Europe would disagree with. The reality is actually more disturbing.
In order to expand both Marsh’s
and Wessely’s knowledge about ME we have also added some research
Switzerland, France and Greece. This is all on top of the existing
biomedical research base in UK, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Holland,
Belgium, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
The research references can be found at
European ME Alliance - EMEA Response to The Times ME Articles
The appallingly superficial
article by Marsh is something that we believe this reporter will
eventually be ashamed of. Surely a more worthy subject to be investigated would
have been any conflict of interest which Wessely and his colleagues
may have with their roles in assisting the DWP to reduce benefits for
sick and vulnerable people, or their employment by the insurance industry
or government departments, or in influencing the Science Media Centre and the MRC policies.
Why not look at the patients' view instead - something the Times
editors regularly fail to do?
Yet we doubt that the Times
editorial staff are up to such a task. This current inaccurate article joins a recent list
of poorly written pieces in the Times/Sunday Times supposedly about
ME - all showing a lack of rigour and journalistic
discipline which really ought to be of concern to the public and the
The Chair and Board of The European ME Alliance