Trial By Error: Steve Brine’s Troubling Claim in Parliamentary Debate on ME
28 JANUARY 2019
By David Tuller, DrPH
During last Thursday’s historic debate on ME in the House of Commons, it was refreshing to watch one MP after another stand up and slam the PACE trial and the non-evidence-based treatment paradigm promoted for decades by the GET/CBT ideological brigades. It was also interesting to note that no one defended this egregious research or the eminent authorities who have produced it.
Of course, the government–in the person of Steve Brine MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care–presented its typical non-responsive response. Perhaps because he has been provided misinformation by proponents of the now-discredited GET/CBT treatment paradigm, Brine was able to offer little of value to his colleagues after their unanimous expression of revulsion at the long history of abuse and neglect perpetrated on patients and their families by the medical profession and its government enablers.
Since I’m not analyzing the overall debate in this blog, here is an account posted by MEAction. Members of the Science For ME forum also discussed the debate here.
I want to focus on a point Brine made regarding the importance of including updated information about ME in medical education—one of the key planks in the motion passed by unanimous voice vote on Thursday. In suggesting that there are currently such resources available, Brine cited a training program developed by the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Here’s what he said: “The RCGP has also produced an online course on ME for GPs. It highlights many of the common misconceptions, and considers the challenges for primary care professionals that surround this complex condition.”
This statement is taken almost word-for-word from the course itself, so it is perhaps unfair to take it as an endorsement. But even a cursory perusal of this particular program, called METRIC (ME: Education, Training and Resources In primary Care) makes it immediately clear that it is an unequivocal piece of biopsychosocial garbage–much worse than nothing. Based directly on the FINE and PACE trials, it transmits their unscientific claims without any hesitation or caution–in effect perpetuating rather than clearing up the “misconceptions” about the illness.
Here is the description: