Re: hi Pat
Posted by Pat on 3/29/03
Hey Mary! Yes, I agree with most of what you wrote! I think I may have
misunderstood your previous post. I totally agree that there are fakes,
and those with a psychogenic illness. I do also think some (But
minority) people who believe they have MCS are often exploited ("we have
herbs to cure MCS folks, step right up").
I agree with the notion that if you say you've been poisoned, get the
medical documentatio to prove it-- otherwise fakes make me look bad! I
don't like that.
So now I am off to read your next post,
On 3/28/03, Mary wrote:
> Okay, so, like I was saying:
> My big problem is with the overly broad and inappropriate use of the
> mcs diagnosis.
> I want to be clear here. I think it is incorrect to dismiss mcs
> people as mentally ill, simply because the nature of their illness
> is not understood. As you've noted, some big time medical
> associations basically agree with that concept.
> I do think some portion of 'mcs' people are mentally ill, and that
> really complicates things because they may not rational. People who
> are not rational don't always make good decisions. Don't expect
> treatment for mcs (whatever that might include)to be useful in
> making mentally ill people well. But, you know, I don't think we
> disagree about this.
> To perhaps restate, or maybe just clarify my thoughts, I think
> many 'mcs' people are truly ill, but that their illness, whatever it
> may be, is not recognized, or well understood. I think the mcs label
> is used like 'none of the above', or 'other', on some form.
> Sometimes a proper diagnosis is simply 'beats me'.
> So now we get to what really burns me. But let's establish a context
> first: Please look at this site. It is a 'law board' that seems to
> exist mostly for plaintiff attorneys to communicate and troll for
> prospective cases, and for the aggrieved to find attorneys. All of
> that is fine, but it is not a medical board, or a toxicology board,
> and it certainly doesn't offer itself as a peer reviewed medical
> journal, or even a peer reviewed legal journal. So, this place is
> about having discussions about mcs in a legal context. That also
> means, I believe, that it is about money, not about getting people
> In our society illness caused by someone else is potentially
> actionable and compensable. Or said a different way, if you made me
> sick, you may have to pay me compensation. Fair enough. So as one
> might imagine a diagnosis can have implications well beyond
> obtaining proper treatment for an ill person. Because of that
> reality, it is necessary to have some degree of confidence in the
> reliability of the diagnosis. MCS is challenged mostly, I believe,
> not because people may be ill in some manner and need treatment, but
> rather because so much money is involved. Those paying it out want
> to have some confidence that the diagnosis is proper and reflective
> of present thinking. While scientific thought on mcs may well be
> evolving (as scientific thought tends to do), at this present time
> the majority opinion does not recognize it as a proper diagnosis of
> illness. It is my impression that a significant reason for this is
> the seemingly 'all inclusive' approach to the diagnosis (Is there
> any symptom not attributable to mcs?). A contributing factor is the
> use of the term, and an advocacy of the concept, by many, many
> people who operate outside of mainstream thinking. (Sometimes way,
> way outside) Now I realize that some brillian ideas have come from
> outside of the mainstream. A reality is that unconventional thinking
> comes with a burden if said thinker seeks to convince others as to
> the merit of their thoughts. The burden might be 'scientific
> disagreement' or it might be skepticism, or outright hostile
> behavior (like some folks, I am told, display).
> And now to my 'exploitation' comments. Pat, you seem to consider
> your thoughts and positions, so I will be surprised if you suggest
> that some people who believe they have mcs are not subject to
> exploitation. Go to google and type multiple chemical sensitivity.
> Yes sir, we've got your gels, your herbs, your crystals, your
> ionizers, your you-insert-crap-here, all with the amazing ability to
> fix you right up. Do we agree on this? I might even suggest that
> some of our legal colleagues right here might be interested in a
> little exploitation. Gee, that same google search uncovers a good
> number of them too. Do you agree that a plaintiff's claim of mcs is
> likely to be more valuable than, oh, I don't know, maybe the flu?
> Lastly let's talk about the fakers. A claim of mcs seems to be
> attractive. I can go after my employer, building owner, neighbor,
> product seller, etc, etc, etc, with this and get some money. The
> symptoms cover seemingly everything, everyone has had some exposure
> to chemicals, presto! Now all I've got to do is convince a jury (I
> have to remember to cough in court), or better yet, just settle the
> case, so I don't have to pay for those expensive experts. Can't
> blame legal counsel (hey, my client said he was sick. I asked if he
> was being truthful and he said yes. It is my job to be his advocate.
> Now give me my 30&37;) Blaming the plaintiff is not politically correct
> (Oh Mary, you are just prejudice and mean. These people are innocent
> victems! Wait until you get it then YOU will understand.) Okay Pat,
> I know you don't like fakers, but you see that is a key part of the
> puzzle (again recalling this is a legal board). Let's look at this:
> In our legal environment, how does society defend itself from the
> fakers? Well, you know. We challenge them and make them prove their
> case. The plaintiff has to PROVE the case, and frankly not to a very
> high degree of certainty. A plaintiff going after a defendent for
> $30 million bucks should probably expect an argument, you know?
> Okay, so those are my thoughts. That is why I get cranky and get in
> faces. You gotta prove it to me, and to the jury, and to society.
> Tough job for sure, but if you've got good, consistently defensible
> science, then that shouldn't be a problem. If you don't, well,
> expect some skepticism, and perhaps a vigorous cross examination.
> As alway, my best regards.
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