By David Tuller, DrPH
In a welcome display of scientific acumen, Norwegian research ethics authorities have rejected a proposed study of the woo-woo called the Lightning Process as a treatment for ME/CFS. Since Norway generally appears to be a hotbed of biopsychosocial thinking, this excellent decision is a bit of a surprise. It follows a heated public debate about the issue over the last year, both before and after regional ethics authorities granted initial approval to the study in November.
(Dagbladet, a popular daily publication, ran an opinion piece of mine last June about the issue. In April, Codastory.com, an international news site, published my lengthy investigation of the Lightning Process, which highlighted the proposed Norwegian study.)
The regional ethics committee received multiple complaints about the approval from individuals as well as the Norwegian ME Association, but declined to change course. After reviewing the matter during meetings in March and May, the National Research Ethics Committee for Medicine and Health Sciences (NEM) released a statement on June 4th that it was rescinding the approval, noting that the decision was ‘unanimous” and “cannot be appealed.” In other words, the researchers would have to redesign their study and develop a new proposal if they choose to proceed with their misbegotten LP research.
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