The undeserving sick

“Purchasers and Health Care providers with hard pressed budgets are understandably reluctant to spend money on patients who are not going to die and for whom there is controversy about the ‘reality’ of their condition (and who) are in this sense undeserving of treatment.

“Those who cannot be fitted into a scheme of objective bodily illness yet refuse to be placed into and accept the stigma of mental illness remain the undeserving sick of our society and our health service”

“M.E. What do we know (real illness or all in the mind?)” – lecture given in October 1999 by Dr Michael Sharpe hosted by the University of Strathclyde, my emphasis


Problems or Solutions? – Eileen Marshall & Margaret Williams, 23rd February 2005

“… We submit that this amounts to denial of the human right of fundamental freedoms under the Human Rights Act, since the Act requires that all public authorities must pay proper attention to a person’s rights when they are making decisions that affect a person. Public authorities include Government Ministers, civil servants, local authorities and health authorities. The Act requires that those in authority do not ride roughshod over people’s rights and must be careful to cause the least possible harm to individuals. To deliberately withhold the provision of appropriate medical care to those with one specific neurological disorder does result in actual harm and we submit that the time is now ripe for the decision that is known to have been taken by those in positions of authority (namely, that people with ME are “the undeserving sick of our society”) to be robustly challenged in the Courts by means of judicial review.

“It can no longer be denied that there is an enormous amount of available published evidence that ME/ICD-CFS is not a primary psychiatric disorder but a multi-system physical disorder of extraordinarily incapacitating dimensions that affects virtually every bodily system, most notably the neurological system, the immune system, the endocrine system, the musculo-skeletal system, the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system and the gastrointestinal system. It has distinct cardinal features that are not difficult to differentiate from psychosocial disorders, but Wessely School adherents are renowned for their intransigent dismissal of any evidence that does not accord with their own construct and so they advise that no-one should even look for such evidence, even to the point of advising Government that “no investigations should be performed to confirm the diagnosis, which is a clinical one” (Joint Royal Colleges’ Report on CFS. 1996: CR54: Summary for Commissioners, page 45) because they believe that carrying out investigations would reinforce patients’ aberrant belief that they are physically sick.

…”We submit that urgent action now must be taken and that since all efforts to enlist the support of MPs have proved ineffective, the only route left is via the Courts by Judicial Review (JR). The procedure for JR is that firstly, a written application is made to the Administrative Court at the
High Court in London; this will be considered by a Judge who will either allow it to proceed or refuse permission for it to proceed. If the Judge refuses permission, there is an automatic right to a Hearing in person before a Judge, who may grant permission for a full Hearing. Should permission still be refused (and the Prime Minister’s apparent influence
over appointment of certain members of the judiciary has been raised in the media), there is the option of lodging an appeal to the Court of Appeal. Should this be unsuccessful, a fresh cause of action may be submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.”

4 thoughts on “The undeserving sick”

  1. Well, Sharpe appears to be as much of a callous fecker as his crone, Wesseley. I find it staggering for these folks to believe that it will never happen to them and/or their loved ones. I’m sure at that stage it would be a whole different ball game.

  2. hot damn. i wouldn’t wish this hell on anyone, but sometimes i think maybe i would, on people like this…

  3. A very well constructed website. And I agree that patients with CFS and related condition suffer as the undeserving sick of modern society.
    But if you read Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw you will understand that that is a criticism of social morals and conventions – not a literal statement!

  4. Hello Michael. Your comment has prompted me to a rather fuller response than you may have expected, and provided me an opportunity to express some views on the CBT/GET school of thought that have been waiting in my personal queue for some time, so I’m glad you came along. It’s a separate entry and it’s here.

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