Evaluating duties of care and unmanaged risk exposures

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The numbers of people affected by ME/ are significant. There are roughly twice as many sufferers as either Crohn’s disease or Lupus, roughly one and half times as many sufferers as HIV/AIDS in the European Union, and similar numbers of sufferers as either multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. The prevalence rates are significantly greater where normalised contra-scientific assumptions that mislabel fatigue are deployed.

It is well documented that ME/ patients are a neglected and misunderstood cohort and that GP-contact by ME/ patients is complicated. A large proportion of patients find that it is rational to avoid GP care, due to practical and human impacts of lack of knowledge, unlawful decision-making, gaslighting and false record taking. This is ironically the opposite of the frequent over-attendance that general practice is incorrectly trained to fixate on. Many ME/CFS patients do not attend their GP surgeries or even fall off GP registration entirely as a result, with an increasing of demonstrable causation.

The scale of the duty of care defines the scale of and potential liability. Being among the most vulnerable in society, the consensus quality of life statistics are repeatedly found as substantially worse or no better than most other diseases, essentially all of which do not carry an elevated likelihood of unlawful decision-making. These include HIV/AIDS, heart disease, congestive heart failure, cancer, stroke, kidney failure, lung disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, eosinophilic gastroenteritis, cystic fibrosis, sciatica and other maladies. It has also repeatedly been found that there is little difference in emotional or mental health, despite confirmation of ME/ as a greater physical disability.

ME/ patients are not just unusually neglected patients. They are unusually vulnerable, with little capacity to address issues that affect them, implying an additionally onerous -profile in clinical and reputational terms for frontline services.