RSM-ME: psychosocial school & insurance companies, Frank Twisk

RSM – ME: psychosocial school & insurance companies

The article below is translated from a Dutch review by Frank Twisk

Because this translation is meant as a contribution for an UK newspaper, two versions are made: with and without hyperlinks.

From jvr (Help ME Circle mailing list)

ME: the strong ties between the psychosocial school and insurance companies.

A Conference on “The Evidence-based Approach of CFS”, organized by the Royal Society of Medicine, will held on April 28, 2008.

Most of the speakers are well-known representatives of the so-called “psychosocial” school. Prof. Simon Wessely, the man who epitomizes this movement, will make an appearance too.

The often critized patients’ organization “Action for ME” will be speaking “on behalf of the patients”.

Of the medical academics specializing in ME/CFS – of course – no one has been invited.

Those who suspect that UNUM insurance and the invited psychosocial specialists have close ties, will find this confirmed once more by the conference program.  
(aim and agenda of conference).

UNUM Provident, one of the largest income insurance companies, is, and has been, since the nineties, the main driving force behind the psychosocial approach mentioned above (e.g. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Management Program UNUM, 4th April 1995: “UNUM stands to lose millions if we do not move quickly to address this increasing problem” – “ME/CFS Diagnosis: Neurosis with a new banner” – “…an effort to return the patient/claimant back to maximum  functionality with or without symptoms”,  ).

Once upon a time, not even that long ago, such an overt conflict of interests would have induced loud protest and strong condemnation.

But time have changed: the ideology of the open market has medical science in its grip.

The barrier between evidence-based science and sales talk is fading away.

The pychosocial meeting (sold as an evidence-based conference) has filled people with ME/CFS both in the U.K. and the U.S.A. with dismay. They will hold a peaceful demonstration outdoors.

ME Agenda  
(appeal to join demonstration)  
(appeal to join demonstration)

Dr. Derek Enlander, a strong supporter of a medical approach to ME/CFS, has written to the Dean of the Royal Society of Medicine urging him to invite medical speakers (“I think it is absurd for the Royal Society of Medicine to promote a  meeting on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis where the predominant topic is the psychiatric aspect of this physical disease.”, “Please invite clinicians and physicians to speak at your meeting on the medical aspects and medical treatment of M.E…”, “After all, you are a medical and not a psychiatric society”. )

source: Read ME UK Events

This of course is not going to happen.

The political and financial interests are far too powerful.

Frank Twisk


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