Oh dear, poor Dr John Monaghan of Portiuncula Hospital, showing himself up like that in public (IMT, April 15, 2011, http://www.imt.ie/opinion/2011/04/the-pace-of-chronic-fatigue.html).
In arguing that ME/CFS is a manifestation of patients’ self-delusion, he appears astonishingly ignorant of a basic fact; the real rift is not between doctors and patients, but between different groups of medical researchers, with patients caught in the middle.
Many of these are children, some severely ill, suffering unbearable neuropathic pain, unable to be cuddled and too weak to stand.
Dr Monaghan appears unaware of the present state of scientific knowledge concerning this illness. He appears not to know of virologist Dr John Chia MD, whose extensive research on samples of stomach lining has demonstrated infestation with enteroviruses (relations of poliomyelitis). He also appears not to know of research at Dundee University (2009), showing blood abnormalities (elevated cell death rates and inflammation) in children with ME/CFS, also consistent with a persistent viral infection. In fact, I am left wondering if he knows anything much about this illness at all.
While he is in the mood for letter-writing, he may like to approach the Flat Earth Society; I feel sure they would welcome a new member.
Alternatively, if humility lurks somewhere within, he may wish to google the Enterovirus Foundation and start from there.
Jane Colby, FRSA,
The Young ME Sufferers Trust,
Holder of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service:
The MBE for Volunteer Groups