Saturday, February 6, 2010

Signatures for Letter to The Guardian

Letter to The Guardian - 3rd Draft with corrections and amendments
As mentioned previously we have 60 names and rising.
If anyone would like to add their names please contact
The Guardian is one of the top English language websites read globally so the insult to the ME community is also a global concern.  <>
Dear Mr Rusbridger,
I am writing to draw your attention to an issue that is causing a great deal of distress and anger to a population of sick and disabled people – presently an easy target for those who carry a prejudice against disabled people.
In recent months you have had a column on your website that goes under the title "Dr Crippen".
I understand that this "Dr Crippen" column is penned by an NHS doctor who uses "Dr Crippen" to both keep his anonymity, and also to give an airing to views that he knows will be insulting or hurtful to those whom he chooses to victimise.
For the last 10 years I have run an Internet discussion group called MEActionUK, to raise awareness and keep members up-to-date with the news, politics and scientific research surrounding myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
We were recently alerted to your "Dr Crippen" column as he has yet again used his space on your website to denigrate the ME community for the purposes of his own entertainment and presumably his presumption that his comments will also entertain your readers.
I am aware that you hold the true identity of "Dr Crippen". However, we the public can see that this deliberate false identity has been established so that this doctor can given out subjective, misleading or even wholly false information about anything he chooses, in this case myalgic encephalomyelitis, without any recourse should that information be demonstrably factually inaccurate.
We would like to know why the readers of the Guardian do not have the right to know who this doctor is who hides behind the title of "Dr Crippen".
Initially, you may argue that he should keep his anonymity. However, he is a registered and practicing NHS doctor speaking via your newspaper, giving your readers his "wisdom". So, the answer is actually, yes – the identity should be known, because this doctor is paid out of the public purse from us, as taxpayers, and he may well carry his views into his consulting room and for all we know he could be denigrating or mistreating his own patients based on the bigotry displayed on the "Dr Crippen" page.
It is apparent from "Dr Crippen's" own description of himself here that he in no way has a medical speciality such as a virologist or immunologist would have for example, and therefore "Dr Crippen" does not have the necessary qualifications to comment on subjects out of his area of expertise."
The doctor himself is responsible for the content of his column, and we believe that, certainly in relation to his repeated derogatory comments on ME, he is breaking the General Medical Council's code.
Source: Good Medical Practice: Duties of a doctor.
The duties of a doctor registered with the General Medical Council.  
'Never discriminate unfairly against patients or colleagues.'
'Keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date.'
'Protect and promote the health of patients and the public.'
'Treat patients politely and considerately.'
'Never abu [rest truncated by Mary's Blackberry but you can read it on the website.]


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