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Wessely Says: Even if XMRV Causes ME, "There's Nothing We're Going to Do About it"

Discussion in 'Media, Interviews, Blogs, Talks, Events about XMRV' started by justinreilly, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch dxrevisionwatch.com

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    I know, it doesn't bear thinking about. For some time now, he's contributed to Tory blogs as a guest blogger. Perhaps he'll be doing more of that if the Guardian doesn't retain him now he's early retired.

    He's buying a scooter.

    I thought men of a certain age were supposed to go out and blow thousands on a set of leathers and a great throbbing Harley-Davidson. Not a scooter.

    Suzy


    Edit: For anyone who's interested, he blogs on this site:

    Conservative Home: Centre Right

    http://conservativehome.blogs.com/centreright/dr_crippen/index.html

    Most recent post, February 24, 2010
  2. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    "Scooter"?

    Surely, for a muppet like him, Beaker is more appropriate?
  3. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    She may have been influenced by Michael Sharpe. There are some hardline psychobabblers in Edinburgh.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    ----------------------------------------------------------
  4. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch dxrevisionwatch.com

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    More on Dr Crippen's retirement

    I used it for Reeves but it will do just as well for Crippen...

    http://wp.me/p5foE-2Hx


    http://nhsblogdoc.blogspot.com/2010/03/nhs-blog-doctor-has-retired.html

    Saturday, 20 March 2010

    After much thought, I have decided to end NHS BLOG DOCTOR. To stop any speculation, may I just say that there has been no serious precipitating event; no crisis, no illness, no threats and no pressure from anyone. I have now retired from active practice within the NHS and am turning my mind to other things. The imperative to keep blogging about medical matters is no longer there. Nor will Dr Crippen be writing in the Guardian or not, at any rate, under a pseudonym.

    It's been fun. I've said a lot, and learnt a lot. I hope some of what I said was of value. I am immensely grateful to the writers of the thousands of comments I have received, critical and not so critical, over the years. I shall in particular always remember Christian Jago (Potentilla) who is still much missed. Healthcare and the NHS is a big topic but I feel I have said what I have to say and increasingly I feel that I am just going round and round the houses. I remain committed to the ideal of a decent standard of healthcare being available to all, independent of means and status. Sadly, we are further away from that ideal than we have ever been, and I am not optimistic about the future.

    When Dr Crippen appeared there were few medical bloggers in the UK. Now the medical blogosphere is well-populated and I particularly commend the Jobbing Doctor and Dr Grumble to you.

    Thanks to all.
    Posted by John Crippen at 18:00

    Edit: See also previous post #103:

    http://www.forums.aboutmecfs.org/sh...Do-About-it-quot&p=56384&viewfull=1#post56384
  5. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch dxrevisionwatch.com

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  6. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch dxrevisionwatch.com

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    For the purposes of archiving, as the orginal Crippen blog has been wiped, here is a full copy of the text of "Dr Crippen's" post from 7 March 2010 where "Dr Crippen" first announced that he had retired several weeks earlier:

    Original URL was this one (now no longer available):

    http://nhsblogdoc.blogspot.com/2010/03/joys-of-retirement-bring-on-scooter.html

    but can be read here:

    http://trusted.md/feed/items/system/2010/03/07/the_joys_of_retirement_bring_on_the_scooter

    The joys of retirement : bring on the scooter

    Syndicated from NHS Blog Doctor by Dr John Crippen | Sun, 03/07/2010 - 3:24am | original article
    post a comment | comments (0)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jITw1fREQtQ

    [Vespa scene from Roman Holiday]

    A short while ago, I retired.

    It's a strange business. In many ways, I had been looking forward to it but, when the day came, it was...well, strange. You do not really wind down. You finish an afternoon surgery on a Friday (well, that's what I did) and the new, young doctor takes over on the Monday. He is frighteningly well qualified and I'm sure my patients will be in safe hands.

    In days gone by, retired doctors used to keep dabbling in medicine by doing locums. I've made the decision not to do that. For several reasons. I would worry about getting out of date. Yes, you can go on courses, and read the journals, but the only way properly to keep up to speed is to work fairly regularly and I don't want to do that.

    Even if I did, there too many logistical difficulties. To do locums you have to pay professional indemnity insurance. That's expensive. Doing three or four sessions a week would mean an annual premium of 2265. Is it any wonder doctors get cross with the independent midwives who practice without insurance? Take a look here if your are interested in the details of the cost of professional insurance for doctors. Then there is the vexed issue of GMC fees. (Details here) There used to be a middle ground so that you could keep dipping your toe in the water. Post Shipman, that has all gone. Even doing one session a week means full GMC registration, costing 420 a year. You can, if you wish, pay 145 to maintain registration "without a licence to practice" but the purpose of that escapes me. Finally, there is the threat of regular revalidation looming. It is absolutely right and proper that doctors should be revalidated but, as yet, no one knows how to do it. The system that is approaching is post-Shipman, and theoretically designed to trap the next Shipman. It won't. There is no system that will identify plausible psychopaths. Shipman would probably have been Chairman of the Appraisal Committee. As revalidation comes in, a lot of more senior doctors will retire. Maybe that's a good thing, but the NHS will lose a lot of experience. So, after much thought, and some regret, I have resigned from the GMC. I'm no longer registered. I am no longer a practising doctor and I am not allowed to practise. Irritatingly, this means I can no longer write out a prescription for my annual 100g tube of Betnovate Ointment for the contact dermatitis I occasionally get on my hands. I shall have to see my doctor instead. Mind you, since retirement, I am no longer washing my hands dozens of times a day, and my skin is currently unblemished. Apart from that, I do not see any problems about no longer being a registered medical practitioner.

    The GMC tell me I'm still entitled to call myself "doctor" - even if you are no longer registered with the GMC, they cannot take your qualifications away from you. You are still a "doctor" albeit non-pracitsing. I've never been the sort of doctor who signs in at hotels using the title, so that is of little interest to me.

    I have retired earlier than many doctors, and that has had repercussions on my pension, which is not as big as it might have been. It's hard to get 40 years in as a doctor anyway and, because I had done law before medicine, I was a particularly late starter. But I will not starve, and I am luckier than many. It will, and already does, mean much more time for books and music. I'm re-reading Bleak House at the moment. It was "inserted" into me when I was 14 by a pushy English teacher and I hated it. Now, it's a joy. There ought to be a law about forcing young children to read "good" books when they are not ready for them. I'm also reading "Race of a Lifetime : how Obama won the White House" I have just bought the new Martin Amis. He's a few years older than me, and the most articulate curmudgeon currently writing in the English Language. That will be next week's pleasure. And I am battling with Welsh moles (and am grateful for the numerous suggestions I have been sent - I particularly liked the one from Eric) but so far I am too squeamish to go out and kill them myself. I am targeting my favourite composers - currently working my way through the Mahler symphonies. Joy.

    Finally - and here I need some advice - I am going to buy a scooter. Or maybe even a small motor-bike. Mrs Crippen is horrified and is talking about psychiatric treatment or maybe even divorce. I rather doubt she will be appearing on the pillion. The children are having fits of laughter. They have bought me a Quadraphenia DVD and are threatening to buy me a parka with a large target on the back. There is little advice in magazines and on the internet about the best sized engine to get. I do not know anyone who has a scooter, so I've talked to friends who have motorbikes, Sadly, as soon as you say the word "scooter" to them, they put a look on their face as though there is a bad smell in the room. I shall persevere. I don't need to do a CBT or test to ride a 50cc scooter but a scooter-riding patient said avoid a 50cc engine; too slow, and you can't get out of danger quickly enough. So it should be a 125cc or even a 250cc engine.

    [Image scooter]

    Should it be a retro- Vespa to fulfull my Gregory Peck fantasy, or the more pratical, prosaic, ever reliable large wheeled Honda SH125? I don't see Audrey Hepburn on the Honda and anyway I doubt our elf & safety commissars would approve of riding sidesaddle.

    [Image scooter]

    Advice on this would be much appreciated. 50 cc seems too underpowered. 125 may be OK. Or maybe I should get a 250 cc. Then there are the limo-scooters. Like driving round in a three piece suite:

    [Image scooter]

    I am going to do the CBT and the formal motorcycle driving test. I must say most of the motorcycle training schools I have talked to have been friendly, helpful and positive but they all recommend doing the test on a geared bike. I'm steeling myself up for a day with teenagers doing the CBT and will see how I feel after that. Maybe a Harley to live out my Easy Rider fantasy. Has anyone any personal experience of talking up scooters and motor bikes in advanced middle age or should I, as Mrs C recommends, see a counsellor?

    ----------------

    See also previous post #103:

    http://www.forums.aboutmecfs.org/sh...Do-About-it-quot&p=56384&viewfull=1#post56384
  7. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch dxrevisionwatch.com

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    Someone has written to me, this evening, to ask whether "Dr Crippen's" retirement might be related to a recent letter campaign to the Guardian, for which signatures were collected.

    I have said that I very much doubt this.

    Dr Crippen posted on 7 March, saying that he had retired "A short while ago". I think he also mentioned in the comment section to that posting that he had already been retired several weeks before his announcement.

    Dr Crippen was a long serving, senior practitioner within his practice. The practice, he says, has recruited a replacement, who he implies, is already installed. There may have been an overlap period, too - he doesn't say.

    But I would imagine that a substantial period of notice would have been required for the termination of his employment with the practice and in order that a replacement might be recruited.

    I would consider that this would likely have been planned well before Christmas which would predate the letter and signatures that were sent to the editor of the Guardian.

    So no, I doubt there was any connection at all.
  8. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    I'm so very glad he's WELL enough to enjoy his retirement...
  9. froufox

    froufox Senior Member

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    I am too brainfogged to contribute properly to this thread but one of my fave Blur songs sums up Weasel for me.. oh and Dr Crippen too.. and all the other CHARMLESS MEN out there.. LOL
    Uncannily accurate lyrics esp "his days are tumbling down upon him" (we hope) :D:D:D

    "Charmless Man"

    I met him in a crowded room
    Where people go to drink away their gloom
    He sat me down and so began
    The story of a charmless man
    Educated the expensive way
    He knows his claret from a beaujolais
    I think he'd like to have been Ronnie Kray
    But then nature didn't make him that way

    He thinks his educated airs those family shares
    Will protect him, that you will respect him
    He moves in circles of friends who just pretend that they like him
    He does the same to them and when you put it all together
    There's the model of a charmless man

    He knows the swingers and their cavalry
    Says he can get in anywhere for free
    I began to go a little cross eyed
    And from this charmless man I just had to hide

    He talks at speed he gets nose bleeds
    He doesn't see his days are tumbling down upon him
    Yet he tries so hard to please he's just so keen for you to listen
    But no-one is listening and when you put it all together
    There's the model of a charmless man

    He thinks his educated airs, those family shares
    Will protect him, that you will respect him
    Yet he tries so hard to please he's just so keen for you to listen
    But no-one is listening and when you put it all together
    There's the model of a charmless man


    [video=youtube;NQhLtd58Jxc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQhLtd58Jxc[/video]
  10. flybro

    flybro Senior Member

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    pluto
    Perhaps the knowledge of his forthcoming retirement is what emboldened him to share the real NHS take on ME CFS and not just his own attitude. I imagine he thinks he is doing his chums a favour.

    I try to imagine the imeasurable pain that the likes of Crippen, Wessley and crew have caused, and then imagine them trying to bear that pain.
  11. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    If Simon Wessely were to suddenly experience pangs of conscience, and withdraw from his leading position in making the medical profession think that a serious disease like myalgic encephalomyelitis is "All in the Mind" just for the purposes of saving money for insurance companies like Unum and Swiss Re, do you not think that these wealthy and apparently unscrupulous insurance companies would not appoint some other malleable expert or professor to perform this twisting of facts? Unum Group Named Second Worst Insurance Company In US.

    Instead of just focusing on Wessely and his network of acolyte colleagues, it would be good to also start boycotting these insurance companies. We would have to find out which high street insurance companies use Unum and Swiss Re insurance products. For example the large UK company Aviva (formerly Norwich Union), who do a lot of automobile insurance, uses Unum products (but we need to check these facts before going ahead).

    With the latest CDC figures showing that 2% of the population now have chronic fatigue syndrome, once CFS patients, their families, and their friends start boycotting these insurance companies, that will show that the CFS community is not as frail and easy to push around as these megalomaniac insurance companies think.
  12. Dr. Yes

    Dr. Yes Shame on You

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    An interesting and hip idea. :cool:
  13. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    Excellent idea Hip. I not only have my insurance with Aviva, but they possess my little nest egg. If they are associated with Unum, I shall not renew my insurance with them and shall withdraw my savings. Naturally, I shall explain to them in writing why I am doing this.
  14. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    And if these insurance companies start getting more and more of these letters, explaining exactly why we have withdrawn our personal business from them, maybe they will start to take notice.

    It might be useful to have someone who knows the insurance industry to look at this, to determine exactly who re-insures whom, so that we can have an accurate list of offending insurance companies.

    From the The Hummingbirds' Foundation for ME, it says this:

    "The insurance companies known to be involved in CFS/ME claims include, in addition to UNUM, Swiss Life, Canada Life, Norwich Union [now Aviva], Allied Dunbar, Sun Alliance, Skandia, Zurich Life and Permanent Insurance, and as Re-insurers, the massive Swiss Re. ... These insurance companies all seem to be involved in RE-INSURANCE; for example, Norwich Union. ... There seem to be two ways in which claims are underwritten between insurers and re-insurers: either the insurers agree to pay claims up to a pre-determined cut-off limit, after which the re-insurer becomes liable, or else the insurer and the re-insurer agree from the outset to share the costs of a claim."

    Certainly, people are now becoming wise to the underhanded tactics of Unum. For anyone who has not seen this BBC video report on how Unun are trying to alter even the UK's welfare system, see it here.

    In this BBC report, one US insurance commissioner said "Unum is an outlaw company... that for years has operated in an illegal fashion".

    This BBC report also says that "Unum had senor executives sitting on key [UK] government working groups... and has provided detailed memorandum on transforming the [UK] benefits system."

    So this is how Unum does its outlaw work: by maintaining a set of scientific "experts" and executives, sitting in influential government positions, to force its agenda upon the world.

    As a result of this outlaw behavior, scientific research into CFS has very likely held back by at least two decades.

    One cannot help feeling that if it were not for these outlaw insurance companies, scientific advances would have already made CFS/ME a very treatable (if not curable) disease by now, much as science has made HIV/AIDS very treatable.

    Just out of their own selfish, short-sighted agendas, these insurance companies have fooled many governments and medical officials for several decades into believing that CFS/ME is not real, and thus governments have done next to nothing, in terms or organizing a CFS research strategy, while all the time, the numbers of people with CFS/ME continue rising, ultimately making this problem, and its economic costs to society, even greater.

    Well done, insurance companies.
  15. Knackered

    Knackered Guest

    Wouldn't the government rather we were actually working? I'm not sure I buy in to this talk of them not wanting to treat us. It's not like everyone who's ill is denied IB currently.

    I mean, if it turns out XMRV is what's doing me in, if I start on the antiretrovirals and I start getting better I'll start working and I won't have to bother with benefits anymore.
    Even if the cost of the drugs to treat me are expensive (600 a month) it'd still work out cheaper for the government not to have me on benefits.
  16. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Well exactly. In the long term, it would have been better, even for the insurance companies themselves, if they had promoted research into a cure or effective treatment for CFS/ME. Instead, for the insurance industry's short-sighted profit-guarding tactics, they denied the reality of CFS/ME, and as a result, research in this condition has stagnated for decades, except for a few highly talented and dedicated scientists.

    Even now, there is the real danger that the Wessely School and the Insurance Lobby will rubbish the XMRV research in the eyes of the government and medical clinicians, and try to bury it. I don't think that is going to happen this time, but that's what they are clearly aiming for.

    And as you say, it is stupid, because the best thing for CFS patients, and the Insurance Industry, would be a cure for CFS. So why is Unum and others so short-sighted about this? They of all people should be promoting CFS research. In the short term they may have to underwrite more disability claims, but in the long term, we will have a CFS-free world.
  17. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    I think we have to consider the possibility (I'd argue probability) that they are thinking only short-term, and are prepared to have 'collateral damage' occur. Free market economics and all that.
  18. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    I'm not sure we can necessarily extrapolate from what Wessely's views are to what insurance companies' views are in terms of denigrating the significance of XMRV. Do we have evidence insurance companies are denigrating the significance of XMRV or saying that CBT/GET will still be the answer? (Apologies if it was said in this thread - don't feel inclined to look back too far).
  19. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    HI Tomk

    If you are prepared to do the reading and research, you can find the answers. Here are some easy-to-digest links to start you off:

    Psychiatrists Paid by Outside Interests - Extracts from “CORPORATE COLLUSION?” by Margaret Williams

    Notes on the Insurance issue in ME/CFS

    Unum's Policy Directive to 
Stop Recognizing 
ME

    "Professor Simon Wessely and Professor Michael Sharpe, were working on reclassifying ME/CFS as a psychiatric disorder. A change in classification would save the insurance industry millions of dollars."
  20. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Corporate Collusion is from Sept 2007

    From Oct 2003

    Largely about this paper: Acta Psychiatr Scand 2008: 1–8
    No mention of XMRV

    From August 2007.

    The relevance of the dates is that XMRV was only associated with ME or CFS in Oct 2009.
    I'm perfectly willing to accept that SW, MS and co influence the insurance industry and the former may enjoy the support of the latter.
    But that's not the same thing as proving the insurance industry are against connecting XMRV with ME or CFS in my mind.

    PS. I believe I have read most of those documents before.

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