Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 5:45 pm on 23rd January 2002.

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Photo of Dr Winnie Ewing Dr Winnie Ewing Scottish National Party 5:45 pm, 23rd January 2002

It is up to all of us to use whatever power we have in our areas to alter the attitudes of the sceptical doctors, health boards and hospitals. We have witnessed the courage and dignity that Alex Fergusson brought to his very sad story. We can all relate equally sad stories from our own experiences of the cases of personal friends.

I agree with the points that all members have made, but I have a final point to make that I do not think that anyone else has made. My friends who have ME are not depressives or psychiatric cases but cheerful people who are active and ready to play a full part in society, yet they are being accused of needing psychiatric help. Our efforts could lead to a change in attitudes. I ask the minister to ask the heads of our medical profession in Scotland to take a leaf out of the book of the heads of the English medical profession.