By David Tuller, DrPH.
On February 20th, Carol Monaghan, a member of Parliament from the Scottish National Party, led an extraordinary debate in the House of Commons about the ethical and methodological failings of the PACE trial. The debate included discussion of the debilitating nature of the illness, the conflicts of interests of the PACE authors, the study’s unfortunate reliance on subjective outcomes, the unacceptable outcome-switching that juiced the reported findings, the hundreds of thousands of pounds spent by Queen Mary University of London to avoid the release of raw data, and the trial’s “devastating” impact on patients.
One colleague asked MP Monaghan, a science teacher by profession, about the conduct of the PACE trial and the “cover-up” of the results promised in the protocol. Here’s how she responded: “I think that when the full details of the trial become known, it will be considered one of the biggest medical scandals of the 21st century.” Not surprisingly, the overall debate and that statement in particular heartened the patient community and provided hope that the apparent power of the CBT/GET ideological brigades to shape the PACE narrative is on the wane.
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