Concerns about Daily Mail “Is ME genuine illness” poll

Concerns about Daily Mail poll: “Do you think ME is a genuine illness”

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p5foE-2D6

Update @ 11 January: Mary Jane Willows, CEO,  AYME, wrote to me this afternoon to say that the Daily Mail poll has been taken off line but that AYME would, in any case, be making a complaint. I’d like to thank the Facebook protest site, Invest in ME, AYME and all those who had complained to the Editor of the Mail, who contacted the journalist Gill Swain (who had written two articles about Lynn Gilderdale for the Mail in 2006 and 2008), and who sent their concerns to the ME patient organisations. My position is that this poll should never have been launched in the first place and that participating in it (even with good intentions) was helping to legitimise the poll. The ME Association has also confirmed that they had contacted the Editor of the Mail.

Update @ 10 January: I am advised by Kathleen McCall, Chair, Invest in ME, that her organisation has now contacted the Editor of the Mail with their concerns. Hopefully, tomorrow, Sir Peter Spencer (CEO, Action for M.E.), Dr Charles Shepherd (ME Association) and our other national ME patient organisations will follow suit. 

I have written to the Editor of the Mail; journalist Gill Swain and to all UK national ME patient organisations.

Alex Bannister Managing Editor Daily Mail:  alex.bannister@dailymail.co.uk  +44 (0)20 7938 6000

There is a Facebook Group opposing this poll (no connection with this site).

As sent to Co-Cure, today:

09 January 2010

We are told that the Daily Mail is running a poll at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/polls/poll.html?pollId=1015226

“Do you think ME is a genuine illness”

in connection with its article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1240871/British-experts-dash-ME-breakthrough-hopes.html

I have already left a brief comment on the Mail site reminding readers of the July 2006 Mail article on the Gilderdale family’s experiences of living with a severely affected young person with ME, by journalist Gill Swain, published several years before Lynn died in December 2008. [1]

Readers of Co-Cure may recall the outrage at a similar poll on the BMJ’s site on medics’ perceptions of  what they considered to be “real” and “non real” illnesses.

I know that I am not alone in my concerns that the Mail should think it appropriate to run such a poll.

I know that I am not alone in finding it disturbing that instead of lobbying the Mail to take this poll down, some members of the ME community are encouraging others to participate in it.

1] Daily Mail, 05 July 2006
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-393915/Trapped-bed-14-years-chronic-fatigue.html

Suzy Chapman
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