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    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,

    ~ Pat

    On 3/28/03, Mary wrote:
    > Pat:
    > 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
    > well.
    > 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.
    > Mary

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