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Simon Wessely and his statement, "Benefits can often make these patients worse" (1993)

Antares in NYC

Senior Member
Messages
582
Location
USA
I started to read his quotes but had to stop as they were making me ill. I don't understand though why his opinion is given so much merit? Is it mostly financial and if the UK attributes ME/CFS to a psychological cause, they therefore no longer have to carry out a thorough medical investigation of symptoms (i.e. save money)
Correct.
It's ALWAYS about the money.
 

MeSci

ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?
Messages
8,231
Location
Cornwall, UK
Let's also not forget his dismissal of the victims of the Camelford (Cornwall) mass water poisoning incident:

http://theoneclickgroup.co.uk/documents/ME-CFS_docs/The Legend of Camelford.pdf

Here is an extract from it:

We suggest that the most likely explanation of the Camelford findings is that the perception of normal and benign somatic symptoms (physical or mental) by both subjects and health professionals was heightened and subsequently attributed to an external, physical cause, such as poisoning [29].

They also managed to imagine their hair into turning green, their brains filling with aluminium, and one woman managed to imagine herself to death quite recently by filling her brain with so much aluminium that she died young of dementia.

Local animals also imagined themselves into being ill and dying after drinking the water.

In case it's not obvious, the last two paragraphs are sarcastic...
 

Antares in NYC

Senior Member
Messages
582
Location
USA
Let's also not forget his dismissal of the victims of the Camelford (Cornwall) mass water poisoning incident:

http://theoneclickgroup.co.uk/documents/ME-CFS_docs/The Legend of Camelford.pdf
If he had any decency, he would have resigned his post after the autopsies of the victims of Camelford showed insanely high levels of aluminum poisoning.

I don't live in the UK, but it seems to me like he often functions as a tool for the government to dismiss cases that would require lots of money to cure. For years he claimed the victims of Camelford were making it up, and in the end the scientific evidence proved him beyond wrong. How can he be so wrong, time and time again, and keep his position?

They say that if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. He built a career on explaining complex illnesses as "psychosomatic", and there's no disease he would not ascribe to the old "it's all in their heads" canard. Extremely convenient for the NHS, I may add.
 

Sean

Senior Member
Messages
7,378
How can he be so wrong, time and time again, and keep his position?

I am guessing that is a rhetorical question.

But it is still worth restating the answer, which is, of course, that he tells the rich and powerful and nasty what they want to hear, he provides them with a pseudo-scientific, pseudo-compassionate, pseudo-moral 'justification' for not only ignoring serious ill-treatment of already struggling humans, but further and systematically adding to that burden, and benefitting from it. So the rich and powerful and nasty, in turn, provide political cover and financial support for him and his crazy ideas.

Psycho-fascism in 21st century garb.

I have no doubt history will see it that way.
 

MeSci

ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?
Messages
8,231
Location
Cornwall, UK
If he had any decency, he would have resigned his post after the autopsies of the victims of Camelford showed insanely high levels of aluminum poisoning.

I don't live in the UK, but it seems to me like he often functions as a tool for the government to dismiss cases that would require lots of money to cure. For years he claimed the victims of Camelford were making it up, and in the end the scientific evidence proved him beyond wrong. How can he be so wrong, time and time again, and keep his position?

They say that if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. He built a career on explaining complex illnesses as "psychosomatic", and there's no disease he would not ascribe to the old "it's all in their heads" canard. Extremely convenient for the NHS, I may add.

Here's the likely answer to the UK government using the Wessely version re Camelford:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/455871.stm

"The situation was aggravated by the imminent privatisation of the water industry and the then government was only too anxious to avoid any form of public inquiry."
 

lansbergen

Senior Member
Messages
2,512
But it is still worth restating the answer, which is, of course, that he tells the rich and powerful and nasty what they want to hear, he provides them with a pseudo-scientific, pseudo-compassionate, pseudo-moral 'justification' for not only ignoring serious ill-treatment of already struggling humans, but further and systematically adding to that burden, and benefitting from it. So the rich and powerful and nasty, in turn, provide political cover and financial support for him and his crazy ideas..

Scratch each other's back