Damning Comments on 'Encephalopathy' By Dr Bruce Carruthers

Forwarded with Permission from Kevin Short. 2005

Dr Bruce Carruthers Damning Comments on the use of the term
Myalgic 'EncephalOPATHY' in place of the term Myalgic

Dear all,

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dr Bruce Carruthers and
his wife when they came to visit our group in Norfolk (UK). As
well as being a truly lovely man working tirelessly for justice for
sufferers of M.E. (CFIDS in the USA), he happens to be a very
eminent physician, with a CV as long as your arm, and the
principal authour of the internationally acclaimed 'Canadian
Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols'. On matters of M.E. then,
his words should be treated with due gravity and organisations
and activists claiming to represent M.E. patients should listen
very carefully indeed.

I asked Dr Carruthers for his thoughts on the increasing use of
the term 'encephalOPATHY' by certain individuals and
organisations. I also asked for a usable quote from him which I
could publicise. The result is the quotation given below - which is
published with the full knowledge and cooperation of Dr
Carruthers to whom I am deeply grateful:

"About your request for my thoughts on encephalopathy- The
Politics around this are horrendous, and the motive for any name
change would seem to have less than the good of mankind at

I would not favour any kind of name change, since -itis is
well established in the name ME, and there is no good reason
for changing it, since -opathy would not reduce our state of
ignorance re ME but serve to further confuse everyone- perhaps
that is one of the motives behind the suggestion."

[Dr Bruce Carruthers, April 2005. Quoted with permission from a private
email to Kevin Short of /M.E. Support /*/*Norfolk** **UK*/*].

*I do not think I can add anything more devastating to the alleged
rationale for individuals/charities using this term. It must surely
now be incumbent upon such individuals/charities to justify how
they can possibly be representing the best interests of M.E.
sufferers when they are substituting the dubious, unrecognised
and damaging name '...opathy' for one ('...itis') which is
endorsed by the WHO and eminent physicians like Bruce
Carruthers. Readers might also wish to examine other
questional actions of such individuals/charities claiming - falsely
in my view - to represent the interests of Myalgic
EncephalomyELITIS (ICD-10 G93.3) sufferers.

That there is a long history of political shenanigans directed
against M.E. sufferers regarding name-changes has been
commented on extensively by Professor Malcolm Hooper in the
paper /'What is M.E.? What is CFS? Information For Clinicians
And Lawyers' /and, most recently, on the DVD distributed by
/M.E. Support Norfolk (UK). /I would also direct readers to
Professor Hooper's views on the state of evidence for '...itis' in
his paper entitled /'The Terminology of ME & CFS'/ from which I
quote Professor Hooper:

"Despite the claims of some psychiatrists, it is not true that there
is no evidence of inflammation of the brain and spinal chord in
ME; there is, but these psychiatrists ignore or deny that
evidence. For Example..." [see here]

With gratitude,
Kevin Short.

CC: Dr Bruce Carruthers, Canada.