Is the MEA planning to boycott the RSM Conference?

Although there was some initial confusion around whether the RSM were going to permit the ME Association to take a paid for stand at the RSM’s conference, the MEA has since clarified that they are going to be manning a stand in order that literature and information can be made available to conference attendees.

There has also been speculation over whether or not the MEA would obtain seats at the conference, itself.

It is my understanding that the MEA is in a position to obtain seats, should they wish to have a representative(s) attend the actual conference, itself, in addition to manning a stand outside the room in which the meeting is being held.  I am awaiting the MEA’s confirmation of the basis on which they have taken this stand at the conference.

Should the MEA send a representative in order that it can report on the proceedings to its membership or should the MEA boycott the conference altogether? 

And if an MEA rep does attend, should the rep engage with the speakers and participate in discussion sessions or should they remain a passive observer and attend solely in order to record the proceedings?

There is an argument for considering that not only should the MEA take a stand outside the conference room but that they should also attend the conference to produce summaries of the presentations for their members – especially given that members of the public are excluded from purchasing seats and given that the RSM has said that it has no plans to make transcripts or DVDs available to the public, after the conference.

On the other hand, how would attendance of this conference by the MEA sit with the position statements the MEA has already issued and the expectations of the ME community?

Given the MEA’s stated views and opinions concerning the psychiatric / psychological bias to the presentations and in the light of the RSM’s declaration of the extent of its interest and involvement in the initial proposal to hold a CFS event, in the setting up of the CFS Conference Planning Committee, in the selection of speakers and session chairs and in the drawing up of the conference agenda and topics for discussion, I shall be interested to read their rationale should they decide to have a rep present at the conference, itself.

But what the MEA cannot do, following the RSM’s clarification, yesterday, is to seek to legitimise attendance of this conference on the grounds that the RSM was not responsible for the selection of the speakers.

The situation at the moment remains somewhat obscure but I will update when I have a clearer picture of the MEA’s intentions.

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