Serious concerns about RSM Conference from M.E. sufferers by John Greensmith

Serious concerns about Royal Society of Medicine Conference from M.E. sufferers

5 April 2008

by Dr John Greensmith

I suspect that, unless we make a special effort to publicise it, the majority of people with M.E. out there will not be aware that this conference is taking place, nor of the controversy surrounding it and, therefore, will be denied the opportunity to express their opinion.

If you are able to write to your regular national and/or local newspaper, I’m sure it would help some of us to get published. If you don’t know the e-mail address to write to, which will be published in your paper, or available on its website, or by doing a search at, send us an e-mail and we’ll find it for you.

Although this conference is taking place in the UK, M.E. doesn’t stop at borders or this side of oceans, so I hope you will write too, wherever you live. Again, we’ll help you with e-mail addresses if you need it.

Best wishes


There is more than a little disquiet about the forthcoming Royal Society of Medicine Conference, “Chronic fatigue syndrome”, scheduled for 28 April 2008 because its agenda is wholly biased towards the mental health perspective of M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) as an illness of psychiatric origin, for which there is no evidence and completely away from its neurological classification, for which there is an abundance.

If not a wholesale schism, there is an unprecedented rift in the M.E. Community because only one organisation has been invited to attend, while others have been told to stay away.

Whatever the motives for this distortion – corporate interest of private medical and insurance companies, academic promotion, increased publication count, personal wealth or reputation, for example – a higher priority is put of self-interest than on M.E.

There will be a peaceful protest outside the Wimpole Street and Henrietta Street entrances of the venue. Those who are too ill to participate are encouraged by the “On a postcard please” campaign to address their concerns to the Dean, Dr John Scadding, 1 Wimpole Street W1G 0AE.

The responses, so far, have not been from firebrand activists but from a cross section of people, whose lives have been affected by this dreadfully disabling illness, including doctors and researchers, of at least equal qualification and authority with the ones chosen to speak at this meeting, who have written of their uneasiness about professional conduct and ethics to national newspapers, the Dean of the RSM and even to the Queen suggesting removing Royal Patronage because of an inappropriate association with an insurance company. There is also a video on which has been made to allow free expression of opinion, in order to counter the censorship and selective editing which has, regrettably and disgracefully, occurred.

This is possibly the shabbiest episode in M.E. history, immoral and unscientific.

There are professionals imposing their speciality, as well as individuals and organisations, purporting to represent people with M.E., who ought to consider their positions.

Yours sincerely
Dr John H Greensmith
ME Free For All. org
36a North Street
BS16 5SW
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 117 956 0150

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