Esther Rantzen talks ME and the blood ban with Dr Charles Shepherd on BBC Radio Berkshire

November 2, 2010


Esther Rantzen discussed ME/CFS and the new UK ban on blood donation by everyone with the illness with MEA medical adviser, Dr Charles Shepherd, on BBC Radio Berkshire on Monday 1 November.

Esther Rantzen was standing in for Anne Diamond, the usual host of the mid-morning programme. The interview was followed by some discussion on the subject with people phoning in – after a break for the news and some “Strictly Come Dancing” chat with Anton du Beke (mostly about Ann Widdecombe).

Claims were made about the value of Lightning Process approach for people with ME/CFS and recovery rates for the illness which we challenged as soon as we heard they had been made. These will be the subject of a further item on BBC Radio Berkshire on Thursday 11 November, round about 9.40am.

This item is now available here on BBC iPlayer if you want to listen. Move the cursor on the time bar to 1:49:15 for the beginning of the discussion.

The item will be held in place for a week after the broadcast.

3 thoughts on “Esther Rantzen talks ME and the blood ban with Dr Charles Shepherd on BBC Radio Berkshire”

  1. How can Rantzen get away with advertising a product live on the BBC?

    Also, where is Rantzen getting her figures from? She says that 60% get better and return to normality. Even the ridiculous NICE guidelines on CFS/ME state:

    “The Centre for Disease Control cited a review of published studies reporting recovery rates of 8% to 63% (median 40%), with full recovery being rare (5-10% achieving total remission)” Page 38 Full Guidelines.

  2. It’s frustrating to see someone who is parent of a sufferer being so ill-informed.

    I wonder if her advocacy has become more a vehicle for her own dwindling fame than genuine compassion.

    It concerns that she can be so confident whilst ratting off some statistic an unfortunate researcher probably handed to her and not at least document its potentially fallibility in the face of conflicting evidence.

    Someone who is passionate about the condition and genuinely impartial wouldn’t display this behaviour.

    Of course she was quick to point out that XMRV link remains undetermined (which is true, but selective journalistic integrity, is not journalistic integrity).

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