Trial By Error: Professor Sharpe’s Intemperate Remarks–For Whom Is He Speaking?
25 JUNE 2018
By Steven Lubet
Steven Lubet is the Williams Memorial Professor at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, where he specializes in professional responsibility and ethics.
Let’s assume that everyone on the PACE team, and all of their colleagues in the biopsychosocial school, always acted in complete good faith. Let’s agree that they all want nothing more than to help ME/CFS survivors, and they sincerely believe that CBT and GET are safe and effective treatments. Let’s grant the claim that they are committed to following where science leads, and they have no desire to cling to preconceived notions. Let’s allow that the methodological problems in the PACE trial were committed in error and were not intended to skew the results.
Let’s accept all of that because (1) it allows us to focus on the important task of encouraging valid research, without the distraction of personalities; (2) the PACE trial and others like it will still fall of their own weight; and (3) it is easier and more persuasive to make the case based on facts and numbers, rather than by challenging the motives of the PACE investigators.