Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Never Give Up, Feb 9, 2016.
OMG and who knew it was written even before PACE trial had started? 2005. I was happily cycling across the country back then.
I've had it bookmarked for years (some of the nastier ones have disappeared with time, but this one is still there). It was one of the first things I tweeted to Coyne, months ago. Sharpe did himself no favors weighing in.
Thank you for rediscovering this, Never Give Up. I agree, it's just brilliant, and worth reading in full.
Favourite line: "if I protest, it must be true; if I float, I’m a witch. Glug."
I see that the winged monkeys have roused Carson from his crypt:
Loading Tweet... https://twitter.com/statuses/696980792925425664
That is a wonderful piece of writing.
Carson clearly hasn't bothered reading the piece. The author is at pains to say "I use the word “you” in the plural of course: your school of thought." She says "of course" there because she presumes it would be blindingly obvious that what she is engaging in here is the venerable scholastic tradition of imagined dialogue, which dates back at least to Socrates. Sharpe stands in for the Wessely school in this dialogue. Worth noting, too, that the author is writing in response to a comment left on her blog by Sharpe.
There are no attacks on Sharpe's character, only on the positions he and others of the Wessely school have publicly stated, as frequently referenced by the author.
It's worth reading the whole exchange, where Carson accuses Coyne of having a 'conflict of interests' (presumably because he disagrees with Sharpe ).
Which isn't like being a personal friend of the researcher in question. Or being called upon to do an unblinded 'definitive' study into a treatment that you've been promoting for twenty years.
I just tried, but as usual with Twitter I found the conversation impossible to follow #dinosaur
[edit: this is my 1000th post on PR over the course of 1 year and 3 days, rather bearing out the suspicion that I talk too much!]
I remember that blog. It's been discussed on PR before.
The trouble with it is that you can take a statement that someone else has made and analyse it to death but it doesn't necessarily get you any closer to the meaning the other intended. What if Sharpe doesn't understand Pygmalion in the same way that the blogger does? Her argument falls.
At the end of the day, all you need do to understand that "undeserving sick" quotation is go to the source material and read the original lecture transcript in context, then make up your own mind (as a minimum, you need to read the conclusion in its entirety). If you do this, you may surprise yourself.
Here is Sharpe's reply to the blog:
It occurs to me that the blogger has committed a similar error in microcosm that Sharpe and cronies have made about pwME. We live in a world of mutual misunderstanding. We are better served by sticking to PACE and not be drawn into this even murkier world.
I've read it before, and just read the conclusion again. Didn't surprise myself! I feel there are some huge, unjustified assumptions underpinning what Sharpe is saying. We'll have to agree to differ on that one.
I think you may have misunderstood me. There's almost nothing in that conclusion that I agree with (nor indeed in the lecture generally), but I accept that he, himself, is not labelling pwME/CFS as the undeserving sick.
As conclusions go, it's not particularly clear - at the point where he ought to be pulling threads together and summarising his argument he chooses instead to muddy the waters with unhelpful literary allusions. He seems to be arguing that healthcare providers treat patients as the 'undeserving sick' when they can't find a 'pathological explanation' for their symptoms, and he makes clear that he thinks this is a misguided and shortsighted response. So far so good...
But then he goes on to claim that the other half of the equation that renders patients the 'undeserving sick' is the patients' own refusal to accept 'psychologically oriented treatments' - so patients are as much to blame as doctors for their continued ill health. It's this second point that the 'Fumblings' blog post takes issues with - and as the blog points out, his deliberate allusion to Doolittle's self-pitying monologue ("I’m undeserving; and I mean to go on being undeserving. I like it; and that’s the truth") does read as being pretty offensive to patients given his overall argument.
If that isn't what Sharpe meant (and I accept it may not have been) he really should have expressed himself more clearly. He says right at the start of the lecture that one of his main points is that patients themselves are 'at fault' but then he doesn't really take the time to explain what he means by this before he starts his conclusion. Putting aside any concerns about the content, it's a poorly structured lecture.
Okay, I get you (now). And perhaps the explicit accusation is unfair. But to be honest, in the Fumblings piece the 'undeserving sick' thing felt peripheral, a springboard for a first rate rebuttal of the whole false illness belief thing and the bps position more generally. If people like Sharpe are going to co-opt me/cfs as fit subject matter for discourses on mind/body dualism, without first waiting for the nature of the illness to be explained, they deserve whatever they get.
end of the day:
the psych lobby are arrogant, opinionated, inhumane, cruel, deceitful, and wicked bastards
many have links that provide clear conflict of interest to the well being of patients versus the greedy callous demands of the health insurance companies and now the Department of Work & pensions
they are bullies, gas lighting weak innocent victims, some they have murdered and yes it is murder to do what they have, refusing to listen to either reason of patients cries and pleas of suffering
it is genocide by deliberate prevention of a treatment for an illness that afflicts millions across the world
and they reply with cock-snooting puffed up bullshit designed to confuse and evade
in such circumstances, you wait until right moment...then kick the evil gobshyte right in the balls!
Gawd love ya, Silverblade. That's sort of what I wanted to say but I couldn't have put it half so succinctly!
That I certainly agree with but I just wish that the springboard itself wasn't so dodgy. It weakens what was otherwise excellent.
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