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UK Parliamentary Debate: Kids Being Taken Into Care By Medics Who Refuse To Believe ME Is Real
Friday 22 February 2019
Parliamentary Debate: Kids being taken into care by medics who refuse to believe ME is real | 25 January 2019
Children with the devastating illness ME face the threat of being taken into care because medics refuse to accept their disease is real, parliament was today told.
ME – myalgic encephalomyelitis – is a cruel disease affecting a quarter of a million people in the UK who are being “failed” in a “national disgrace”.
While classed as a neurological disease, the stigmatised condition is still considered wrongly by some health professionals to be psychological. It means that often patients struggle to get the support they so desperately need.
ME manifests as activity-induced muscle fatigue, post-exertional malaise, problems with cognitive function, widespread muscle pain, unrefreshing sleep and ongoing flu-like symptoms.
In the debate today – the first in 20 years on ME – the House of Commons was told how one in five children with the disease are being threatened with the prospect of being forced into care.
MP Carol Monaghan, who brought today’s motion, led calls for more funding for research and better medical training to help support patients.
She said: “There is currently no cure for ME and many with the condition experience inadequate care and support.
“But there are an estimated quarter of a million people in the UK suffering from ME, and currently we are letting these people down.
“The cause of the disease is unknown, but many patients report that it developed after a viral infection such as flu or glandular fever.
“Many adults cannot maintain employment or relationships with family and friends, while children frequently fall behind in school. The ignorance surrounding the condition makes it harder to access benefits with DWP assessors often deciding the sufferer is fit for work.”
Several quality of life research studies have shown that the level of disability in ME can be just as great than many other serious medical conditions, including cancer and multiple sclerosis.
While some people with ME do improve over the course of time, it is only a small minority that return to full normal health. And the disease is indiscriminate, affecting both sexes, all ages and all races.
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