By Lesley Scott in Third Force News.
What happens to patients’ rights when there is no accountability in the system?
Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is categorised by the World Health Organisation under diseases of the nervous system. The Scottish Government supports this categorisation and it underpins the current Scottish good practice statement on ME.
However, information obtained through Freedom of Information legislation revealed that all five medical schools in Scotland teach ME as if it were a behavioural problem that can be ‘fixed’ through psychological interventions and management regimes such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET). The Scottish Government was recently asked “what action it can take to prevent harm being caused to ME patients as a result of any inaccurate or outdated teaching regarding the condition.”
Its response was that the General Medical Council (GMC) approve all curricula, and it has effectively washed its hands of the issue, stating that medical schools are “legally autonomous institutions and it is not possible for Scottish Ministers to either dictate the teaching curriculum nor can they require elements of it to be suspended.”
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