By By Adriane Tillman in #ME Action.
The women’s rights community is beginning to pay attention to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) as one of many diseases in which sexism has played a role in the disbelief, misdiagnosing and mistreatment of patients. (ME affects men, women and children but 75 percent are women.)
The National Organization for Women (NOW) held a panel discussion about gender bias in medicine that focused on the health crisis of ME at its 2018 conference that was held earlier this month. (#MEAction member Terri Wilder had submitted an abstract to host the panel, which was accepted.)
The panel included three women with ME and members of #MEAction: co-founder Jennifer Brea, New York activist Terri Wilder and Ashanti Daniel who worked as a full-time nurse before getting ME. The panel also featured writer Maya Dusenbery who wrote a detailed chapter about the history and issues surrounding ME in her book, “Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed and Sick.”
“Attending the NOW conference was a great opportunity to raise awareness about ME,” said Terri Wilder. “It was a captive audience. We should take every opportunity to talk about our disease as it can only help our movement. Not only should we be speaking at women’s conferences but men’s conferences, pediatric conferences, and adolescent conferences!”
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