Health

Medical haste, COVID-19, and the mythology of “Medically Unexplained Symptoms”

Here is an extract from a lecture I gave last year for my colleagues at the Psychiatric Association of Turkey. It concerns the issue of so-called “Medically Unexplained Symptoms”: I attempt to show how the primacy effect — a reliance on first impressions — serves to distort medical reasoning. For […]

‘Cancel culture’ paranoia and other right-wing hysterics reveal medical conservatism’s true colours

Historian David Olusoga has been speaking about the ironies of ‘cancel culture’: Olusoga, whose work has explored black Britishness and the legacy of empire and slavery, said that people “feel perfectly comfortable making these comments about me without being able to point to a single reference or footnote in my […]

a woman in white tank top lying on bed

No, that antibody study does *not* show that Long COVID is caused by “beliefs”

The pandemic of Long COVID psychobabble continues. This week saw yet another terrible study claiming that long-haul COVID is just an illusion of human cognition, an illness-like experience rooted in psychological processes. The widely reported “finding” was published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine by a group of French […]

BMJ chooses face-saving over fact-checking

So last week, our friends at the BMJ published yet another ‘news’ item in one of the esteemed journal’s very-much-not-peer-reviewed sections. It carried a rather dramatic headline: Covid-19: Boys are more at risk of myocarditis after vaccination than of hospital admission for covid In a world swirling with anti-vaccination conspiracy […]

beige concrete cathedral

NICEXIT: Royal Colleges look to “take back control” of treatment standards

The very fact they call themselves “Royal Colleges” should have been a sign. Simply put, some of these folks have a rather high opinion of themselves. There seems to be a widespread view within Britain’s “Royal Colleges” that they form a kind of medical aristocracy, a ruling class with feudal […]

crop psychologist supporting patient during counseling indoors

The new NICE Guideline for ME/CFS: Ten Questions Answered

[UPDATED: 29 October 2021] 1. What’s going on? 2. How is the new guideline different to the old one? 3. Why is the new guideline being welcomed? 4. Why was the old guideline problematic? 5. How did NICE arrive at the new guideline? 6. Was NICE overly harsh in using […]