Concern about misinformation to the Gibson Inquiry

 

Margaret Williams      6th July 2006

 

 

 

Having read the official Minutes of the evidence presented on 18th April 2006 to the Gibson Parliamentary Inquiry by Trish Taylor of the charity Action for ME (AfME) that are now available on the Inquiry website http://www.erythos.com/gibsonenquiry/ , it is important to note the factual errors in Ms Taylor’s evidence to the Committee:

 

  1. The UK Government officially recognised ME as an organic disorder on 27th November 1987 (ie. not in 2002 as stated in AfME’s presentation), and there is official evidence of this: see “Time for a Reality Check at the UK Department of Health?” dated 4th April 2004 at www.meactionuk.org.uk/Reality_Check.htm .

 

  1. It is misleading to state that it was in 2003 that “the WHO UK Guide gave a unified neurological code to CFS/ME” because this refers only to a Guide to Mental Health in Primary Care produced by the Institute of Psychiatry in London (which was compelled to issue an erratum after wrongly re-classifying “CFS/ME” as a mental disorder), not to the ICD itself: it was in 1992 that “CFS” was included by the WHO in Geneva in the ICD as a term by which ME was sometimes known, and ME itself has been included in the ICD as a disorder of the nervous system since 1969.

 

For a national charity that is tasked with representing the best interests of those with ME not to get the basic facts right on such an important occasion is a matter of concern.

 

It must also be noted that in the Minutes referring to the evidence of the 25% ME Group (on page 11), there may have been a typo by whoever wrote up the Minutes, because the correct date is 1969, not 1979.