Invest in ME issues statement on RSM CFS Conference

Invest in ME statement
Statement from Invest in ME on the forthcoming Royal Society of Medicine Conference on CFS

21 March 2008

Invest in ME have been asked by a number of people to comment on the planned psychosocial conference on CFS being arranged by the Royal Society of Medicine in April and in which the chairman of the ME charity, AfME, is taking part.

Invest in ME supports the view stated recently by the 25% Group that there is no justification for the CEO or chairman of any ME charity to be speaking at the RSM conference and that it is doubtful that such participation will benefit patients with ME or their families and does imply some patient-backed validity to psychiatric involvement in ME – unless an unequivocal and correct view of the physical nature of ME is presented and the proceedings of the conference are published afterwards for all to see.

We do not believe that it is necessary to avoid mentioning conferences such as the RSM conference. Making people aware of these conferences can also serve to highlight the lack of scientific rigour and data in the arguments of those who perpetuate the view of ME as a somatoform illness (as also illustrated in the IiME Quotable Quotes booklet).

Similar psychosocial conferences occur around the world and we feel the best way to publicise a balanced and informed view of ME is to try to provide a means of presenting objective science relating to the extensive biomedical research which has already proven the organic nature of ME. This we are doing with our annual biomedical research conferences.

In the case of the RSM conference the active participation of AfME in another psychosocial conference, occurring six months after their previous psychosocial conference in October 2007, has helped to illustrate that people with ME and their families could look to other organisations to help promote better awareness of ME as a physical illness. It is to be noted that no representative of AfME has ever attended one of the IiME international biomedical conferences.

However, rather than expending time and energy worrying about the conduct of another organisation Invest in ME are instead concentrating fully on our international biomedical research conference in London on 23rd May.

Our theme for the conference is Sub Grouping and Treatments for ME and we hope the conference will itself highlight the biased and unscientific views likely to be portrayed at the RSM conference and cause those “ME charities” who support those views to rethink their position.

This will be IiME’s third such conference and this year we have some of the foremost experts in the world presenting at the conference and delivering scientific data from biomedical research into ME. The IiME conference offers unrivalled knowledge to be presented to a UK/European audience.

Experts such as Dr. Leonard Jason, Dr John Chia, Dr Martin Lerner, Dr Jonathan Kerr, the Whittemore-Peterson Institute represented by their research director Dr Judy Mikovits, Dr Irving Spurr of the John Richardson Research Group, Dr Julia Newton, Dr Jean Monro and Professor Malcolm Hooper will be representing decades of research into ME.

IiME welcome everyone to our conferences to learn about the true nature of ME and the proceedings are always publicised afterwards. In previous years as funding has become available IiME have created a DVD of the conference lectures and presentations and some of the lectures at our conferences have been published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

We have heavily discounted the ticket prices for people with ME and their carers and have a scheme which allows healthcare professionals to attend at a discounted rate if they are connected with a local ME group. We have done this to encourage real cooperation between healthcare professionals and people with ME and their families.

The ticket prices for professionals are also very competitive for a conference which carries full CPD accreditation (6 points).

We would invite people who feel strongly about the RSM conference to support the IiME conference on 23rd May and help us to promote awareness of biomedical research which is on display and which will undoubtedly provide the only sure way to develop treatments and a cure for ME.

3rd Invest in ME International ME/CFS Conference – London 23rd May 2008


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