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"Intimidated, Frightened, Threatened with Eviction" - CFSAC Spring 2013, Day Two

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Mark, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    I'm not sure that the issue is so clear. Dr. Marshall's behaviour sounded to me like bullying. At the point that Eileen was interrupted, she wasn't out of order:
    A member has the right to challenge the chair, and a formal challenge must be put to the vote. Properly, Eileen should have been asked whether she was challenging the chair.
  2. Nielk

    Nielk

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    This is not something that can be physically pointed out but, I had the feeling throughout watching the meeting that the chair was treating Eileen Holderman and Mary Ann Fletcher differently than the rest of the committee. He was disrespectful and acted annoyed whenever these two spoke. I did not feel confident that these two were being heard as equals to the rest.
  3. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Is anyone suggesting that CFSAC should be disbanded or that there should be a change in governance? Sorry I've lost the way in which these discussions have been moving. Anything being pressed for anywhere else that I might have missed - and of which you guys are aware? Thanks.
  4. Bob

    Bob

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    Ember, I was simply attempting to clarify that 'out of order' is a formal term, and it wasn't used casually. I'll reword my post to clarify. (I don't seem to be adding anything of value to this thread!)

    Ember, is this extract taken from the CFSAC committee rules?

    I agree with snowathlete that the Chair appears to cut Eileen's time prematurely, and I agree that the Chair's interruptions are vulnerable to being interpreted as harassment and intimidation.

    But my interpretation was that the Chair was ruling Eileen 'out of order' because she said "I'll take as much time as I need", which was directly challenging the time allotted to her by the Chair.

    We would have to refer to the procedural rules to find out if the Chair behaved inappropriately.


    Transcript (my own).

    Eileen: OK, this has been a very big point of contention in our subcommittees and on this advisory committee. I don't want to sweep it under the carpet and give it three minutes, it deserves much more than that...

    Chair: I'm sorry, you have two minutes now. You've got two minutes now.

    Eileen: I'll take as much time as I need [indecipherable]...

    Chair: No you won't. I'm sorry ma'am, you're out of order.

    Eileen: I'm not out of order

    Chair: You have two minutes. Say whatever you have to say in the next two minutes.

    Eileen: What's out of order is that I feel afraid to be on this committee now...
  5. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    I thought that I was quoting from Robert's Rules of Order Revised, Bob. Here's the link. Certainly a member can formally challenge a ruling by the chair under Robert's Rules.
  6. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    Case in point, Nielk: the committee had to pass a resolution in order to make a recommendation. When Dr. Fletcher had the floor and described their resolution, the Chair simply talked over her. A transcript makes that brief exchange look more orderly than it was (41:30 - 42:08):
  7. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I don't think that anyone is suggesting disbanding CFSAC. We are just expressing our frustrations as to the inadequacy of how it is moving along and how we are kept in the dark as to some of the things that are going on in the background.

    This group's charge is to bring recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, via the Assistant Secretary of Health as to ways to improve the quality of life for ME/CFS patients. They are to look at things that affect the care and access for patients. They are to bring recommendations for clinical and research definitions, diagnosis and treatment.

    The recommendations stay on the agenda until the time that it has been fulfilled and then it is taken off.

    Specifically, there seems to be a lot of controversy whether the recommendation to convene a working group made up of patient advocates, clinicians, experts and members of CFSAC in order to to reach a consensus for a case definition, has been fulfilled by the response of the DHHS to convene an "evidence based methodology workshop".

    From comments of some of the members, it seems that there is contention behind the scenes as to this working group since it's function is NOT to come up with a diagnostic criteria. Furthermore, there seems to be ignorance as to who will take part in this working group. (sub-committee)

    Holderman, Fletcher and Kraftchick seem to be pushing for the fact that this recommendation has not been fulfilled. They wanted to discuss it (in my opinion, probably the most important function of this meeting) Lee, Marshall and Maier acted very annoyed by this discussion and didn't want to give it too much time for discussion.

    Why?
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  8. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    Raw power? I keep being reminded of the line from How to Survive a Plague: “It's really an amazing encounter. But it sort of felt like reaching the Wizard of Oz. Like, you got to the centre of the whole system, and there's just this schmuck behind a curtain.”
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  9. medfeb

    medfeb Senior Member

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    Oh, Bob - no worries - we all do that once in a while. I had the benefit of having been at the meeting live.
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  10. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Has anyone heard more from those involved as the meeting happened over a month ago and (presumably) the 'intimidation' had occurred prior to this? Thanks.

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