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Jonas found guilty

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by Supporters of Dr Myhill, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Up Dr Myhill - not all the answers yet but following through all the latest research findings to aid ME sufferers - fans or not). Surely no popularity poll.
     
  2. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    I have not "lumped" people, Esther! As I quite clearly stated it is "some" of the self proclaimed "Skeptics" who are writing very extreme stuff about ME campaigners. Please do not straw man me!

    BTW - its ME patients who are being discriminated against and denied medical treatment and their basic human rights - those that are in the "wilderness" without care or help of any kind do not have the luxury of endless debate.

    .

    I am not an especial Sarah Myhill supporter; but I do recognise the knee-jerk denigration of ME campaigners that is so prevelant in certain quarters.
    .
     
    Snow Leopard likes this.
  3. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Whatever - research is too far advanced now - knee jerk anger only at the old deniers of old.
     
  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    @ Enid - that is not the real lived experience of severely sick UK ME sufferers - most do not have the years and decades to wait -
    really - I despair at the complacency of some - when others know that they are extremely fortunate to still be alive, and realistically do not expect to survive long.
     
  5. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    I will not despair - it's been 12 years (encephalogy and the rest) - science and real findings now move on. Watch the space for all who suffer.
     
  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    Get real - most of us are in dire straights. "Hope" does not provide the medicine, the care, or pay the bills. Its way too late for "hope" to save us. The seriousness of the situation needs to be accepted.
     
  7. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    I know it well Wildcat.
     
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  8. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    I take your point, Enid. Those of us who are lucky to be alive (who only just survived) try to communicate the seriousness of the situation to those who haven't experienced near-death from disease, neglect and abuse. xxxxx
     
  9. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I didn't mean to straw-man you, and did not say that you had lumped people together. Maybe I should have been clearer. I adopted your use of 'skeptiks' to distinguish from 'sceptics' - but I was also unsure to what extent you and others were lumping people together, so wanted to make my own views clear.

     
    barbc56 likes this.
  10. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    I agree to an extent Esther but you have to admit that the BS crowd buy into a particular mindset that (a) has a 'sceptical' attitude to ME/CFS because it falls outside their simplistic conception of 'real' diseases; that's to say if it doesn't show up with regular NHS testing then there is no organic disease; and (b) there is an element of technocratic control that appears to state that anything not officially sanctioned and backed by 'gold standard' RCTs is beyond the pale and must be supresssed (hence the attempt to suppress pacing in the PACE trial).

    They have a point that there is too much quackery surrounding ME/CFS for the reasons already expressed. What they seem to have lost sight of is that a doctor's role is to at least treat patients with sufficient respect that they actually believe what they are telling them. I think its called empathy. If a doctor doesn't know the answer it would be better just to acknowledge that rather than fall into 'god of the gaps' explanations.

    Some people appear to use the scientific method as a weapon rather than a tool to gain knowledge and if some of these people truly are medical researchers or practitioners then I despair.
     
    Valentijn, Glynis Steele and Wildcat like this.
  11. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I don't think I would like to talk about a 'BS crowd'.

    It did seem like some people there thought 'scepticism' involved coming up with excuses for the poor way CFS has been treated, or the way that the results from PACE were spun, etc; rather than looking carefully at the evidence and seeing what is actually true. But I'm sure that there were other posters on that forum who were not like that.

    There does seem to be a bit of a current trend for lazy scepticism, and it does irritate me, not least because I think it serves to create a poor impression in the public's mind of genuine rationalism, which is really important to me. Lots of good sceptics/rationalists will be mixed into that group too as well, so I'm really hesitant to start talking dismissively of any group which just gives a poor impression. (Tired typing... I could have phrased the above better, but might have nap instead!)
     
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  12. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    This man sought the personal and professional downfall of one Doc working to understand and aid ME sufferers = I have no problems with and welcome this outcome.
     
    Tristen, anne_likes_red and Wildcat like this.
  13. Oliver

    Oliver

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    Given that the report from the HPC hearing states that Stuart Jones himself admitted his misconduct, I fail to see why there is any uproar in the Skeptik community regarding the outcome of the hearing. When a defendant admits to misconduct, they would usually expect to receive a sanction.

    As it states in the HPC report, the lesser sanctions available to the HPC (no action or mediation) were deemed to be too lenient given the serious nature of Stuart Jones's misconduct. As the HPC stated: "This misconduct cannot, in the Panels judgement, be categorised as minor."

    http://www.hpc-uk.org/complaints/hearings/index.asp?id=2556

    I think that the outcome of the HPC hearing is fair. A two year caution order highlights what the HPC regards as the serious nature of Stuart Joness misconduct to which he has admitted, but doesnt prevent him from getting on with his day to day work.
     
    Wildcat likes this.
  14. Andysnat

    Andysnat *****

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    barbc56 likes this.
  15. Andysnat

    Andysnat *****

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    I would also like to point out that Jonas did not libel Dr Myhill. The allegations of being misleading were withdrawn by the HPC, and the sole complaint was that he "Made disparaging comments on the website forum, Bad Science about Dr XY" and nothing more. In other words, his complaint was not false or misleading at all.
     
    barbc56 likes this.
  16. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Oops, thanks, I removed it.
     
  17. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    What Jonas supposedly did to be punished was call Myhill an "uberquack" on an internet forum. But this was done while anonymous, before the GMC blew his anonymity after Myhill complained about the anonymity of the person who complained about her.

    http://badscience.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=27127

    Reprimand for that alone may seem excessive to some. Myhill supporters and others would see this as poetic justice because Jonas initiated the complaint which lead to unfair/worse sanctions on her ability to treat them, which also seemed excessive although I don't know the full details. Any vitriol towards Myhill from other Bad Science members would be irrelevant to Jonas' case.
     
  18. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    From the charity Action for ME site (21st December 2011) News Section, reporting the Daily Telegraph reporting the hearing:


    Dr Myhills career damaged by allegation, hearing told

    The reputation and career of Dr Sarah Myhill, who specialises in treating M.E., were seriously damaged by allegations on the Bad Science online forum, a hearing has been told. Stuart Jones described her as a "deluded, pill-peddling quack." Mr Joness comments, together with a complaint he made to the General Medical Council, caused an investigation that resulted in Dr Myhill being suspended. Giving evidence, Mr Jones said he deeply regretted any offence caused by his comments. The hearing continues.

    The Daily Telegraph, p 6
    21/12/11
     
  19. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    The HPC determination:



    Background:

    At all material times the Registrant was a Clinical Scientist. In or around March 2010, the Registrant submitted a complaint to the General Medical Council (GMC) in relation to Dr XY. It was the Health Professions Councils (HPC) case that on 15 April 2010, the Registrant began posting on the Bad Science Forum under the alias Jonas making comment in relation to Dr XY and her practise. Further it was the HPC case that these comments were disparaging of Dr XY.



    Preliminary Matters:

    The Registrant attended the hearing and was represented by Ms Louise Price Counsel, instructed by Thompsons Solicitors. Ms Jane David of Kingsley Napley Solicitors appeared on behalf of the HPC.

    Before the allegations were read, Ms David on behalf of the HPC made an application to amend allegation 1 by deleting and/or misleading, Ms Price on behalf of the Registrant did not oppose this application and the Panel exceeded to the request.

    When the allegations were read out the Registrant, through his counsel, admitted the factual particulars set out in the allegation, denied the misconduct alleged in paragraph 2 and further denied that his fitness to practise is impaired as alleged in paragraph 3.

    On behalf of the HPC, Ms Jane David called the following witnesses who gave oral evidence, Dr XY, a Medical Practitioner and KC who made the complaint to the HPC regarding posts made by the Registrant on the Bad Science Forum. She also invited the Panel to consider, as part of the HPC case the HPC bundle of documents which includes the witness statement of PE; a patient of Dr XY.

    At the conclusion of the HPC case Ms Price called the Registrant who gave evidence on his own behalf. She also called Dr Hart (a registered Clinical Scientist) who gave evidence on behalf of the Registrant.



    Decision on Facts:

    Before the Panel sets out its findings of fact, the Panel wishes to state for the avoidance of doubt, that it had regard to the following matters;

    1. The burden of proof is on the HPC to prove the facts to the requisite standard, namely on the balance of probabilities. There is no burden on the Registrant to disprove the allegations.

    2. The standard is the civil standard on the balance of probabilities.

    3. In approaching the issue of impairment, the Panel has adopted a sequential approach, namely, to consider
    a) whether the facts set out in the allegations are proved; and if so,
    b) Whether those facts amount to misconduct and if so;
    c) Whether the Registrants fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct so found.


    The Panel has carefully considered all the oral and written evidence adduced on behalf of the HPC and the Registrant. Notwithstanding the admission made by the Registrant in relation to the facts in this case this Panel has comprehensively considered all the oral and written evidence and has viewed a cd of the Registrants posts on the Bad Science Forum in relation to particular 1. The Panel find, independent of the Registrants admission, the facts alleged at paragraph 1 proved to the requisite standard.





    Decision on Grounds

    The Panel next considered whether the facts found proved constituted misconduct.

    Again independent of the Registrants admission to misconduct made at the close of the case, the Panel has itself considered the question of misconduct. It is the Panels judgement that the Registrants conduct alleged at paragraph 1 of the allegations was inappropriate and unprofessional. In acting as he did he failed to keep high standards of personal conduct as well as professional conduct and his behaviour fell short of what would be proper in the circumstances.




    Decision on Impairment:

    For the avoidance of doubt, the Panel had regard to the following matters:

    1. In relation to impairment, the Panel reminds itself that the test of impairment is expressed in the present tense, that fitness to practise is impaired.

    2. Whether the Registrants fitness to practise is impaired is a matter for the judgement of this Panel.

    3. Rule 9 of the Health Professions Council (Conduct and Competence Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 provides where the Committee has found that the health professional has failed to comply with the standards of conduct, performance and ethics established by the Council under Article 21(1)(a) of the Order, the Committee may take that failure into account, but such failure will not be taken of itself to establish that the fitness to practise of the health professional is impaired.

    4. The HPC Practice note Finding that Fitness to Practise is Impaired
    In considering the issue of impairment the Panel had regard to its findings of misconduct set out above and to the following breaches of the HPCs Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics:
    3 You must keep high standards of personal conduct.
    13 You must behave withintegrity and make sure that your behaviour does not damage the public confidence in you or your profession.

    In determining the issue of impairment the Panel also had regard to the HPC Practice Note Finding that Fitness to Practise is Impaired and has followed the sequential approach set out in the case of Cohen Vs. GMC ((2008) EWHC 581). It has taken into account the personal component, namely, the current behaviour of the Registrant and the public component, namely, the need to protect service users, declare and uphold proper standards of behaviour and maintain public confidence in the profession. The Panel also considered the respective submissions of the parties, the Registrants bundle of documents and two testimonials submitted on his behalf. It has considered his oral evidence and the evidence of Dr Hart.

    Whilst this Panel does not question the Registrants motivation with respect to his interest in the use of internet sites such as the Bad Science Forum to discuss and debate clinical issues it nevertheless finds that his posts were disparaging, inappropriate and unprofessional. As set out above the Registrant failed to keep high standards of personal conduct and it is the Panels judgement that his behaviour had the potential to damage public confidence in him and his profession. Whilst the Panel accept that he has shown some insight and that there is a low risk of repetition, it is the Panels judgement that there is a clear need, in this case, to declare and uphold proper standards of behaviour and maintain public confidence in the profession. The Registrant admitted misconduct in making disparaging comments on the Bad Science Forum about Dr XY could undermine public confidence in him and in his profession. In the circumstances of this case the public would expect the Registrants regulator to make a finding of impairment. Public confidence in the profession and the HPCs regulatory role would be undermined if a finding of impairment of fitness to practise was not made.



    The Panel finds that the Registrants fitness to practise is currently impaired by reason of misconduct.



    Decision on Sanction:

    In deciding which sanction, if any, to impose in this case, the Panel has considered the submissions of Ms David on behalf of the HPC and Ms Price on behalf of the Registrant, the advice of the Legal Assessor and the HPC indicative sanctions Policy. It has revisited the testimonials submitted to it on behalf of the Registrant. It notes that the primary function of any sanction is to address public safety but that it also has a duty to give appropriate weight to the wider public interest which includes:

    The deterrent effect on other Registrants;

    The reputation of the profession concerned; and

    Public confidence in the regulatory process


    It has considered the question of which sanction to impose in ascending order of severity. It notes that where a Panel has determined that fitness to practise is impaired, it is not obliged to impose a sanction.



    It first considered to take no further action, but decided against this course having regard to the seriousness of misconduct set out above. To dispose of this case by taking no further action would neither reflect the seriousness of misconduct found nor address the public interest considerations referred to above. This misconduct cannot, in the Panels judgement, be categorised as minor.


    Having decided that to take no further action would not be appropriate in this case, it next considered the imposition of a Caution Order. In that regard it considered all the criteria set out in the above mentioned indicative sanctions guidance. It notes that this case does not involve any issues in relation to the Registrants clinical competence and further notes that the misconduct did not cause any patient harm.


    The Registrant has apologised for his misconduct, now realises that his actions fell below the standards expected of a registered professional and has shown genuine remorse. Further, it is the Panels judgement that the majority of his posts on the Bad Science Forum were not inappropriate and that there is a low risk of reoccurrence of his misconduct.


    The Panel has decided to make a Caution Order. It notes that 3 years should be regarded as the bench mark for such an Order but has decided to decrease that period to two years to reflect the mitigation present in this case, set out above


    http://www.hpc-uk.org/complaints/hearings/index.asp?id=2556


    .
     
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  20. Battery Muncher

    Battery Muncher Senior Member

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    Yep, after years of being peddled snake oil from various sources (mercury amalgams etc) I think it's increasingly clear that our only hope comes from science. Solid, evidence-based science.

    The problem is not scepticism, but (as you say) lazy scepticism. But scepticism properly applied would show up the PACE trial as nonsense and clear up a lot of misconceptions surrounding our disease.
     
    Wildcat likes this.

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