Kay Gilderdale has walked free from court, at the conclusion of her trial for assisting in the suicide of her daughter, ME sufferer Lynn, which saw the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, personally lambasted by High Court Judge Richard Brown for pursuing a case utterly without merit.
And so he should – getting a conviction is the CPS’s primary consideration – the validity of a case, and plain, old-fashioned common sense, come a long way behind.
Note: ME is CFS in the US.
Writing as someone who has suffered from ME – an illness that has effectively destroyed my marriage and my life – for 25 years, I can fully understand Lynn Gilderdale’s desire to end her life and her suffering after 17 years, and the fact that her mother aided her in this.
Hopefully, some good will come of this, in getting the medical profession to take this appalling illness seriously, not least the fact that it can be extremely painful and, in my experience, at least, analgesic drugs do very little to ease the pain. Mind you, the best I’ve got is DHC Continus – and it took me 20 fucking years to get those.
I fear, thought, that those responsible for the treatment of ME in this country will take Lynn Gilderdale’s case, and distort it hideously, by claiming that her reasons for suicide were mental, not physical.
That’s because there are a great many people in the medical profession, trying, for reasons best known to themselves (I’m assuming there are reasons, beyond the fact that they are lying, self-serving fuckwits), and without the slightest evidence, to get ME classified as a psychiatric illness. Even the WHO is colluding with them in this, by changing their definition of ME – see this post, and this one, and NICE, by their embracing of CBT as a treatment for ME. The DWP, with consummate lack of honesty, call it a “psycho-social condition”.
The idea that CBT, or any “talking therapy” can cure ME – or any other physical illness – is simply absurd. Talking may help people cope better, it will do nothing whatsoever to change the course of what, as every single ME sufferer (I hate the acronym PWME – it sounds like a Welsh expletive), knows only too well is an often serious physical illness.
There are, though, many people with ME who are profoundly depressed – I’ve been there – but this is because depression is common in chronic illness, and we have a illness, which can be severely disabling, often extremely painful, for which there is no effective treatment, and which is treated with ill-disguised disbelief and contempt by many, quite possibly most, doctors.
It would be a bloody miracle, for many of us, if we were NOT depressed!
The only thing that has stopped me taking a similar course to Miss Gilderdale’s is the possibility that tomorrow may, in some vague, undefined way, be better. Over 9,000 tomorrows have come – and gone – but that’s not happened so far.
And you know, while it’s true, if somewhat clichéd, that where there’s life, there’s hope – all too often, hope is simply not enough…