Health groups insult our intelligence
Whenever we hear officials and ‘ experts’ telling us about one thing or another, we generally accept what they’re saying is of some benefit to us. Maybe we’re better informed about something. Maybe we become interested in something we haven’t heard about before.
Or maybe, just maybe, we might find a need to stand up and challenge what they’ve said.
That’s especially t rue when the of f icial spokesman for a national organization has said something so patently unreasonable, to let it go unchallenged would be irresponsible. Or worse. That is why it has become of paramount and absolute importance to challenge the joint statement delivered by Alain Beaudet of the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
The statement called upon the federal government not to fund national trials on the so-called Liberation Treatment for MS.
This space doesn’t permit me to go into any significant detail about both the testing and possible treatment relative to this new and radical approach to the conventional knowledge about how to treat MS, or even more significantly, what causes the disorder.
I’m more concerned about the rationale of the CIHR to issue such a directive.
You don’t have to be knowledgeable about MS, or even your body, to come to the same conclusion I have about their logic.
About the kindest thing I can say is, it’s an insult to the intelligence of anyone with more than a Grade 9 education. Perhaps even younger!
The Aug. 31 television announcement by the CIHR did include enough grace to concede that MS sufferers who have had the procedure reported a reduction in their symptoms.
The CHIR justifies asking Canada not to fund national trials on the procedure however, by pointing to three conditions that they say support their position. They are: • There is no proof the procedure reduces the number of plaques
• There is no proof the procedure restores lost muscle tone
• and there is no proof the procedure reduces the number of relapses sufferers may have.
How many viewers would pick up on the absurdity o f t hat announceme n t if they didn’t know the following relevant facts about MS?
Plaques are areas of scarring at affected nerves. Multiple Sclerosis actually means “many scars.”
One thing we all know about scars is they don’t go away.
This new procedure has never suggested that getting rid of scars was part of the process because even a child can tell you any scar you have now will still likely be there forever.
Muscle tone takes a long time to lose. It’s also going to take a long time to get it back. Again, there is absolutely no expectation that this procedure will restore muscle tone. It’s just trying to halt further damage.
There is no way to measure the effect on relapses until a significant amount of time passes. Relapses may occur at any frequency, but one, perhaps two a year might be considered average. They may just as likely be years apart.
If you had this procedure in the last six months, how are you supposed to gauge its effect on your relapses?
If anything, the joint statement issued by the CIHR and the MS Society should teach us two things. Just because a spokesman says something, perhaps we should listen very carefully.
And if you’ve ever donated any money to the MS Society, you might want to rethink that next time. At least until they learn enough about anatomy to stop putting their heads up someplace they ought not to be. The CIHR ought to know that already.