Persecution of ME patients by the Wessely School: Briefing Document for the House of Commons 2003

Countrygirl

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https://web.archive.org/web/2004050...ctionuk.org.uk/SELECT_CTTEE_FINAL_VERSION.htm

THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:

PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?

A CONSIDERATION OF THE ROLE OF PROFESSOR SIMON WESSELY AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE “WESSELY SCHOOL” IN THE PERCEPTION OF MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS (ME) IN THE UK

Background Briefing for the House of Commons Select Health Committee
"No progress will be made unless everyone helps to publicise the facts contained in this document to all health professionals, to Members of Parliament and to the media"

Is it the case, as demonstrated in a TV documentary, that multi-national corporations and not governments now control the world? Are powerful and influential psychiatrists who work within the Mental Health Movement linked to the multi-national corporations that now dominate and control medical and research institutions and whose life-blood is profit? (Politics isn’t working: the End of Politics. Cambridge academic Noreena Hertz presented evidence that multi-national corporations are taking the place of elected governments. ITV Channel 4, 13th May 2001)

To the detriment of the sick, the deciding factor governing policies on medical research and on the management and treatment of patients is increasingly determined not by medical need but by economic considerations.

Document prepared for the Countess of Mar by Malcolm Hooper, Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, in collaboration with members of the ME community, Department of Life Sciences, University of Sunderland, SR2 7EE, UK

December 2003



Is it the case, as demonstrated in a TV documentary, that multi-national corporations and not governments now control the world? Are powerful and influential psychiatrists who work within the Mental Health Movement linked to the multi-national corporations that now dominate and control medical and research institutions and whose life-blood is profit? (Politics isn’t working: the End of Politics. Cambridge academic Noreena Hertz presented evidence that multi-national corporations are taking the place of elected governments. ITV Channel 4, 13th May 2001)

To the detriment of the sick, the deciding factor governing policies on medical research and on the management and treatment of patients is increasingly determined not by medical need but by economic considerations.

Document prepared for the Countess of Mar and Malcolm Hooper, Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, in collaboration with members of the ME community, Department of Life Sciences, University of Sunderland, SR2 7EE, UK

December 2003



I am struck by the case of Clare White as it reflects the behaviour of the doctors in my local county hospital when I have been admitted for cardiovascular problems, including strokes, and kidney problems. Other than the diagnosis the outline of the story is identical. This is current.

I also see reference to the account of my friend Dr Annie Macintyre who had to sign the Official Secrets' Act before she could discuss ME at the CMO's meetings.

Also in the extract below is the detailed story of the case of Ean Proctor, the paralysed ME child who nearly drowned when, under Wessely's care (he denies it) when he was subjected to the equivalent treatment of the witches trial. If you sank and drowned you were innocent, if you survived you were guilty, and were executed. Annie, after making a documentary on it when she interviewed the family and Ean told me he was actually tipped from his wheelchair into the swimming pool. Wessely denies his involvement, but it is laid out below.

There is a great deal to read in this document, but it is invaluable as a record of the past wrongs. It was written in 2003 by Lady Mar and Professor Malcolm Hooper

Countrygirl

Extracts.



Disgraceful treatment of ME patients: On Sunday 15th June 2003, Clare White, a woman in her early 60s (a graduate who taught French during her professional academic career but who has been severely affected by ME for many years) was taken ill: being unable to contact her GP (because the surgery had only an answering machine telling patients to telephone NHS-Direct) she was forced to telephone 999 for an ambulance. She was taken to the A & E Department of a flagship London hospital in great distress, suffering from acute renal colic and vomiting. On arrival she was seen by a very helpful, polite, considerate and conscientious junior doctor who examined her and found that she had many abnormalities, including blood in her urine. He asked her if she had any other diagnosis, so she told him she suffered from ME. He started to organise various investigations, including an IVP (intravenous pyelogram), informing her of what was proposed. The woman then heard him discussing her case with a more senior colleague just outside her cubicle and was dismayed to hear the senior doctor instruct the junior doctor to do nothing because ME was a “personality” problem which did not need further investigation. She definitely heard this said very clearly. The junior doctor repeated forcefully that the abnormalities he had found had nothing to do with ME and that she needed investigating. The two doctors had a heated argument, the outcome being that the junior doctor, although clearly very angry, was pressurised into not investigating further. In her own words, “a stop was put on the works”. To his credit, the junior doctor, who was visibly uncomfortable, arranged a wheelchair and ambulance transport for the woman to be taken home. She lives alone and has no-one to look after her. The pain has now spread to the bladder region but she is receiving no medical care and no social support. No-one wants to know and no-one cares.https://web.archive.org/web/20040508235504/http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/SELECT_CTTEE_FINAL_VERSION.htm


The Official Secrets Act: During the life (1998-2002) of the Chief Medical Officer’s Working Group on ME/CFS, members were ordered not to discuss the deliberations and were even threatened with the Official Secrets Act (documents available). If the psychiatric lobby which dominated that Working Group is so confident that they are right, why the need to force the suppression of opposing views by resorting to threats of prosecution under the Official Secrets Act in a Working Group that had nothing to do with State security but was supposed to be acting simply in the best interests of sick people? This is in marked contrast to the “Key working principles” set out in the first Briefing Note of March 1999, which states “The Group must have maximum ‘transparency’ ie. as much information about its activities to be distributed as possible to all potential interested parties”.

1. The case of Ean Proctor

In 1988, a formerly healthy 12 year old boy named Ean Proctor from the Isle of Man had been suffering from ME since the autumn of 1986; his symptoms included total exhaustion, feeling extremely ill, abdominal pain, persistent nausea, drenching sweats, headaches, recurrent sore throat, heightened sensitivity to noise and light and loss of balance; he was also dragging his right leg. In 1987 his condition had rapidly deteriorated; he had gradually (not suddenly as may occur in hysterical disorders) lost his speech and was almost completely paralysed (which lasted for two years). He had been seen by Dr Morgan-Hughes, a senior consultant neurologist at the National Hospital in London, who had reaffirmed the diagnosis of ME and advised the parents that ME patients usually respond poorly to exercise until their muscle strength begins to improve; he also advised that drugs could make the situation worse.

Although he did not obtain his MRCPsych until 1986, during one visit by the Proctors to the National Hospital in 1988, Wessely (then a Senior Registrar in Psychiatry) entered the room and asked Ean’s parents if he could become involved in his case; desperate for any help, they readily agreed. Wessely soon informed them that children do not get ME, and unknown to them, on 3 June 1988 he wrote to the Principal Social Worker at Douglas, Isle of Man (Mrs Jean Manson) that “Ean presented with a history of an ability (sic) to use any muscle group which amounted to a paraplegia, together with elective mutatism (sic). I did not perform a physical examination but was told that there was no evidence of any physical pathology…I was in no doubt that the primary problem was psychiatric (and) that his apparent illness was out of all proportion to the original cause. I feel that Ean’s parents are very over involved in his care. I have considerable experience in the subject of ‘myalgic encephalomyelitis’ and am absolutely certain that it did not apply to Ean. I feel that Ean needs a long period of rehabilitation (which) will involve separation from his parents, providing an escape from his “ill” world. For this reason, I support the application made by your department for wardship”.

On 10 June 1988 Wessely provided another report on Ean Proctor for Messrs Simcocks & Co, Solicitors for the Child Care Department on the Isle of Man. Although Wessely had never once interviewed or examined the child, he wrote “I did not order any investigations….Ean cannot be suffering from any primary organic illness, be it myalgic encephalomyelitis or any other. Ean has a primary psychological illness causing him to become mute and immobile. Ean requires skilled rehabilitation to regain lost function. I therefore support the efforts being made to ensure Ean receives appropriate treatment”. Under his signature, Wessely wrote “Approved under Section 12, Mental Health Act 1983”.

In that same month (June 1988), without ever having spoken to his parents, social workers supported by psychiatrists and armed with a Court Order specially signed by a magistrate on a Sunday, removed the child under police presence from his distraught and disbelieving parents and placed him into “care” because psychiatrists believed his illness was psychological and was being maintained by an “over-protective mother”. Everything possible was done to censor communication between the child and his parents, who did not even know if their son knew why they were not allowed to visit him.

In this “care”, the sick child was forcibly thrown into a hospital swimming pool with no floating aids because psychiatrists wanted to prove that he could use his limbs and that he would be forced to do so to save himself from drowning. He could not save himself and sank to the bottom of the pool. The terrified child was also dragged out of the hospital ward and taken on a ghost train because psychiatrists were determined to prove that he could speak and they believed he would cry out in fear and panic and this would prove them right. Another part of this “care” included keeping the boy alone in a side-ward and leaving him intentionally unattended for over seven hours at a time with no means of communication because the call bell had been deliberately disconnected. The side-ward was next to the lavatories and the staff believed he would take himself to the lavatory when he was desperate enough. He was unable to do so and wet himself but was left for many hours at a time sitting in urine-soaked clothes in a wet chair. Another part of the “care” involved the child being raced in his wheelchair up and down corridors by a male nurse who would stop abruptly without warning, supposedly to make the boy hold on to the chair sides to prevent himself from being tipped out; he was unable to do so and was projected out of the wheelchair onto the floor, which on one occasion resulted in injury to his back. This was regarded as a huge joke by the staff.

In a further medical report dated 5th August 1988 for Messrs Simcocks, Wessely expressed a diametric opinion from that of Dr Morgan-Hughes, writing: “ A label does not matter so long as the correct treatment is instituted. It may assist the Court to point out that I am the co-author of several scientific papers concerning the topic of “ME”….I have considerable experience of both (it) and child and adult psychiatry (and) submit that mutism cannot occur (in ME). I disagree that active rehabilitation should wait until recovery has taken place, and submit that recovery will not occur until such rehabilitation has commenced……..it may help the Court to emphasise that…active management, which takes both a physical and psychological approach, is the most successful treatment available. It is now in everyone’s interests that rehabilitation proceeds as quickly as possible. I am sure that everyone, including Ean, is now anxious for a way out of this dilemma with dignity”.

Ean Proctor was kept in “care” and away from his parents for over five months.

Although this took place in 1988, such brutality is still happening in the UK: the continued barbaric “treatment” of sick children by certain psychiatrists who profess to specialise in ME was the subject of a Panorama programme transmitted on 8th November 1999 and was profoundly disturbing (a videotape recording is available). Nothing seems to have been learnt from the appalling case of Ean Proctor and there is no question that children with ME continue to be forcibly removed from their parents and home; this issue was raised by Dr Nigel Speight, a consultant paediatrician at the University Hospital of North Durham with 20 years experience of children with ME, who in April 1999 reported to the Chief Medical Officer’s Working Group on “CFS/ME” that the frequency of psychiatrists diagnosing the parents of children with ME as having Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy now amounted to an epidemic. Jane Colby, Executive Director of The Young ME Sufferers Trust (TYMES Trust) says “To have your sick child taken from you, to be suspected of damaging them yourself, just when they most need your care, is an appalling experience”.

2. The case of Child X: Some ten years after her own nightmare experience, Mrs Proctor answered a knock at her door on the Isle of Man and was surprised to find herself confronted by a police officer who had been directed to question her by the Metropolitan Police. Although at the time she did not know it, another child with ME in southern England was being threatened with forcible removal from his home if his parents did not agree to his being admitted to a psychiatric hospital: in an effort to protect the child from inappropriate treatment and medical harm, his father had surreptitiously taken him abroad. When police officers broke into the house, it seems they found Mrs Proctor’s name and address and she was therefore suspected of assisting the boy’s parents in his disappearance and of harbouring him, which was untrue. Believing his son to be safe, the father returned to the UK where he was arrested and sentenced to two years imprisonment, a sentence he was happy to endure, thinking that his son was safe. However, the child’s mother was then targeted and threatened with imprisonment if the boy was not handed over to a particular psychiatrist at a Teaching Hospital. The physically sick child was forced to spend seven months under the “care” of this psychiatrist and was subjected to “active rehabilitation”, during which time his condition deteriorated considerably. He is now severely ill and terrified of health professionals.

The lengths to which these psychiatrists who have focused their careers on “eradicating ME” will go in order to obtain parental obedience, and the control they wield, is extremely disquieting.

Professor Wessely, though, seems to be curiously affected by elective amnesia over the compulsory removal of children with ME from their parents: his involvement with the wardship of Ean Proctor is incontrovertibly established, yet in a Channel 4 News programme on 26th August 1998 in which the case of Child X was being discussed, when asked by the presenter Sheena McDonald if there can ever be a case for the coercive approach in situations involving forcible removal of a child with ME from the parents, Wessely stated (verbatim quote)You know very well I know nothing about these cases” and when Sheena McDonald asked “So you would agree that unless there is criminal abuse, there is never a case for a coercive approach to take children away from parents?”, Wessely replied (verbatim quote) I think it’s so rare. I mean, it’s never happened to me”. Despite this denial on national television, there is unequivocal evidence that Wessely had been personally involved in Ean Proctor’s wardship and that he had advised the local authorities to take the action they did. (Copies of Wessely’s letters and reports and a videotape recording of the Channel 4 News item are available).
 
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Sledgehammer

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It only takes a signature or two on a document from people who know nothing or very little about disease and illness (Mental or physical) for a persons world to be turned upside down, and in many cases ruined beyond repair.

The courts often believe these barbarians because of the reliance of so called 'Experts' so they can make a decision on a persons future. Yes It's a sickening trend that continues because it's an age old system that's in need of a massive overhaul.

Edit: When it comes to systems. They usually break things that work and leave what is broken untouched.
 
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