RSM postcards and letters

This page will be used to display some of the messages that you have been sending to the Dean of the Royal Society of Medicine

Unless marked MAY BE REPOSTED no permission is given by the authors to forward or publish letters elsewhere

May be reposted

To: Dr John Scadding, Dean RSM

From: Suzy Chapman, Dorset



May be reposted

From: Ciaran Farrell, ME sufferer

To: Dr John Scadding, Dean RSM

Dear Dr. Scadding,
I am absolutely appalled by the lack of scientific rigour and balance within the RSM Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Conference of 28th April 2008 which has a very high level of pro psychiatric and psychological bias against the physical neurological disease Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, ME. ME is classified by the World Health Organisation in the International Classification of Diseases at G93.3 in the Neurological Chapter, and has been so since 1969, and is not a mental disorder as many of the speakers at the conference erroneously believe. As an ME sufferer I am outraged that the physical disability and debility I suffer from is being portrayed as “all in the mind” by doctors like those speaking at your conference who refuse to listen to patients like me.

Yours Sincerely
Ciaran Farrell, London NW5


From: South Moulton ME Support Group

To: Dean, RSM and Sir Peter Spencer, CEO, Action for ME (AfME)

Jacqui Footman, Publicity Officer for South Moulton ME Support Group, advises that the group’s committee has sent a letter to the Dean with a copy to Sir Peter Spencer, CEO of AfME, setting out its concerns about this conference.

You can read a copy of South Moulton ME Support Group’s letter here

South Moulton ME Support Letter to Dean, RSM Word doc (35KB)


May be reposted

From: Dr John Greensmith, ME Free For All org

To: Dean, RSM


Dear Dr Scadding,

You must, no doubt, by now, be aware of the extent of the concern there is in the M.E. Community about the forthcoming RSM Conference, “Chronic fatigue syndrome”, scheduled for 28 April 2008 because of the bias towards M.E. as a psychiatric illness, favoured by the overwhelming majority of speakers.

There are also whisperings of censorship and secrecy surrounding some of the delegates.

Can you assure us that, if not a DVD of the whole proceedings, transcripts will be available to anyone who requests them and, if there is any cost at all, it will be affordable by people with M.E. in receipt of disability benefits.

Yours sincerely
Dr John H Greensmith
ME Free For ALL


May be reposted

From: Dr Speedy

To: Dean, RSM


As a GP with ME I can’t say I am very impressed with the RSM so I have sent the Dean of the RSM the following email:

Dear Dr Scadding,

On your site it says you are organising a conference
about CFS at the end of April.

“The aim of this meeting is to take a broad look at
chronic fatigue syndrome, examining its nature
and definition, pathophysiology”.

1.         If I look at the list of speakers, I am
delighted to see that you have banned everybody
who knows that ME is a neurological illness as
defined by the WHO since 1969.

Now which CBT psychiatrist will mention this? NICE
didn’t in their ME guideline….

So would it not have been a good idea to have a
neurologist like Dr Chaudhuri at your conference??

2.         Who will mention that in 1988 the
psychiatrists changed the name from ME to CFS, then
in 1991 they changed the criteria to tiredness only,
and they created a completely new disease, or I
should say a wastebasket. They introduced names
like Yuppie Flu and Chronic Fatigue, and now many
doctors believe ME is about tiredness and they think
ME, or CFS as they want to call it, equals TATT. And
as you know, we as doctors hate TATT (Tired All The

3.         That ME is something completely different
was demonstrated for example by Dr Ramsay, the
infectious disease specialist, in 1979 when he
published a paper that demonstrated muscle
abnormalities. Now which psychiatrist will mention
this and the fact that we can now demonstrate
mitochondrial dysfunction in ME patients very easily
with a blood test?? And the worse the test results
the worse the ME. And I realise that CBT is so good
that we can actually talk the mitochondria back to

4.         Who will mention that ME patients are not
allowed to be blood donors???

5.         Who will mention that you can DIE from
ME??? And no, I am not talking about suicide, I am
talking about dying from ME like for example Sophia
Mirza a few years ago. Did she die from false illness
beliefs, malingering, suggestibility or was it just
plain laziness??

6.         Who will mention all the genetic
abnormalities in ME patients as found by Dr Kerr???
And yes I know, a few sessions of CBT and the
genes are back to normal.

7.         Who will mention the fact that the MRC has
turned down all research into the cause of ME and
finding a cure and only sponsors CBT psychiatrists???

8.         Who will mention that in children ME is now
the main reason to be off school long term??? Would
it not have been a good idea to have a paediatrician
like Dr Speight at your conference who is the most
experienced ME paediatrician in the UK???

9.         Who will mention the fact that at least 25%
of ME patients are bedridden and many are tube

10.       And even more important, who will mention
Dr Stein’s excellent psychiatric ME guidelines that
demonstrate that CBT is useless, or the Canadian ME
guidelines that do the same???

11.       And who will mention the recent article by
two Dutch psychiatrists in The World Journal of
Biological Psychiatry, April 2007, who stated that:
“The psychiatric and psychosocial hypothesis DENIES
the existence of CFS as a disease entity.” And that
“In CFS cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is most
commonly used. This therapy, however, appears to
be INEFFECTIVE in most patients.”

Which is not surprising as CBT is just as effective for
a neurological illness as watching grass grow….
which is a lot cheaper actually…

So why has the RSM, a Society of Medicine as I
always thought, not lived up to its own conclusion of
1978: “it is hoped that as a result of the meeting,
sufferers from this miserable illness will, in future,
be more sympathetically managed.”

The only thing that the CBT psychiatrists have done
is made the suffering of ME patients worse and now
you at the RSM are kindly hosting their yearly
psychiatric conference.

But please remember that you or your loved ones can
get ME as well and then you will realise, just as I
have learned the hard way, that CBT is all about
denying ME as a severe and debilitating physical
illness, and that you are now supporting them, and
denying ME just like they have done with MS, TBC
and many other physical illnesses in the past.

But let me add that I hope that you or your loved
once will not get ME as I now know what a delightful
business this is.

Kind regards,

Dr Speedy, a GP bedridden with ME


May be reposted

To: Dr John Scadding, Dean RSM

From: Mrs. H. Patten

Dear Dr Scadding,

It was with great sadness that I read the forthcoming conference on M.E. is to be dominated by speakers from a psychiatric/psychological background.

M.E. is classified by the World Health Organisation as a neurological illness. Research (none of it funded by the NHS) has repeatedly shown it to be of genetic and viral origin. The latest research results from Dr Kerr and his team quite clearly confirm this. Their research was funded by a tiny charity, the CFS Research Foundation. They are close to developing a blood test for M.E., yet struggle to find funding for their work.

Despite the research results, M.E. patients are still given psychological based treatments such as graded exercise therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy that have proved to be at best ineffective, & at worst harmful. A recent pilot study (Koolhaas, et al., 2008, Netherlands) reports that only 2% of ME patients are cured by CBT, while the greatest share (38%) are adversely affected. No other physical illness is treated solely by these means. There would be public outrage if cancer patients were only offered G.E.T. and C.B.T., or if tests were never developed and offered to them in order discover what was physically wrong.

M.E. patients are presently treated under the umbrella term of ‘CFS’ that includes people with mild fatigue that has a psychological cause. It is disgraceful that they are never offered adequate viral testing and then offered the antivirals targeted to their particular virus. It is a scandal that viral and other testing is not being developed because all the millions of government funding has gone to treating M.E. as a psychological disorder.

Viruses have been found in the hearts, muscles, brains and guts of M.E. patients who have died. Casey Fero, who died of M.E. aged 23, was found to have ‘heart disease not of new onset’. Sophia Mirza, whose death was preceded by her being forcibly admitted to a locked room of a locked ward of a mental ward, where she was denied basic nursing care, was found to have “unequivocal inflammatory changes affecting the special nerve cell collections (dorsal root ganglia) that are the gateways (or station) for all sensations going to brain through spinal cord. The changes of dorsal root ganglionitis seen in 75% of Sophia‘s spinal cord were very similar to that seen during active infection by herpes viruses (such as shingles).”

M.E. is a most serious and debilitating condition. It’s thousands of sufferers experience a combination of severe symptoms that include extreme unremitting pain, extreme exhaustion and multi-system dysfunctions that include neurological symptoms. Many are housebound or can only go out in wheelchairs for brief periods. Some are so ill that they are bed bound, and of these some spend their lives in darkened room unable to talk or even swallow. Some such as Jeannie Carson are being admitted to mental wards and made to participate in physical exercises and other treatments damaging to their health; her treatment resulted in her becoming bed bound. During her hospital stay she had been prevented by staff from discharging herself.

Please reconsider and include as speakers at your conference the physicians and medical clinicians who treat this disease, such as Dr Klimas, Dr Kerr and Dr Enlander. Please consider carefully the distorted psychiatric emphasis the conference will take without them.

The present erroneous view of M.E. as a psychological disorder affects patients ability to claim benefits, to receive help from social services, and even sometimes to receive adequate care from their G.P.s. It affects relationships with friends and families and leads to isolation. Above all, it leads to so many M.E. sufferers lives being wasted in severe illness and pain, instead of being spent as the useful members of society they wish to be.

your sincerely,

Mrs. H. Patten


May be reposted

To: Dr John Scadding, Dean RSM

From: Neelu, Hertfordshire

Dr Scadding,

Before the discovery of using MRIs to diagnose MS- it was an illness referred to by Drs as ‘hysterical paralysis’. By inviting the psycho lobby to speak at the 28th April RSM conference on ME, you are repeating the same mistakes of the past with ME patients (a neurological disorder diagnosable by viewing patients PET/SPECT scans)- this time by replacing the words ‘hysterical paralysis’ with ‘somatisation’. You’re inviting the speakers to propagate nothing less than extreme medical negligence and have the blood of patients on your hands.

Neelu, Hertfordshire