Open letter from The Countess of Mar to Professor Simon Wessely | 4 December 2012

December 5, 2012

12 thoughts on “Open letter from The Countess of Mar to Professor Simon Wessely | 4 December 2012”

  1. What an absolutely brilliant letter from the Countess of Mar, what a heroine she is. It would be great if it could be published in the Independent as a riposte to the one published on 25 November.
    And while we all know Wessely’s failings – being too mean to buy the lady lunch when he’d invited her…that’s a new one…

  2. Invisible Woman

    Isn’t there an award we can nominate the Countess of Mar for? If not can we create one?

  3. Francess Martyn

    I would just like to thank this wonderful lady, the Countess of Mar.
    I am truly thankful that we have her to defend us, as many of us don’t have the strength to defend ourselves. I’ve never left a reply before and it’s just taken me about half an hour to do so because I wanted so much to express my appreciation to the Countess of Mar for her tireless support and to the ME Association for keeping us up to date with articles, research, news, etc. – it’s all some of us have left to justify why we feel so tortured, firstly by an inexplicably cruel illness and secondly by inexplicably cruel professionals who are supposed to care but don’t!
    Kind wishes

  4. I literally had a spring in my step after reading this, like having an angel speak out on behalf of us all, and a weight falling off our shoulders. We need more public figures speaking up on our behalf, more robust support in our corner.

    The issue of not indulging patients with too many investigations is especially resonant for me as if Prof Behan had not ‘indulged’ me with many specific blood tests and EMG and musle biopsy, I would possibly not have had a confirmed diagnosis.

  5. So Simon Wessley harrassed the Countess of Marr with letters and telephone calls whilst himself purporting to be the victim of harrassment; I wondered why several publications ‘spontaneously’ launched into character assassinations of Simon Wessley’s erstwhile ‘patients’, implying they were mad, bad and dangerous to know. It’s all beginning to make sense. The only issue still remaining is why Simon Wessley is still authorised to practice medicine even setting aside the fact that he is an obnoxious little creep.

  6. I registered just to say how grateful I am for this brilliant letter. I’ve been too ill to speak or do more than cope for the past 2-3 years and it’s truly inspiring to see those who can standing up for so many who can’t speak up for themselves. Thank you.

  7. Massive thanks to the Countess of Mar for her reply to yet another “poor me” tale of woe from Professor Wessely. Am I being too cynical if I suggest that every time there are a few articles in the media that appear sympathetic to the ME community, this old chestnut of persecution and harassment is trotted out by his camp to redress the balance?

  8. Don’t think your being cynical at all, Kailey. The biopsychosocial school simply cannot bear that their flawed theories are being exposed as wholly inappropriate for our illness, so we get these harassment tales popping up over and over again. I reiterate, none of us endorse unpleasant threats, why on earth would we, but really it is no longer newsworthy. Yet this theme of poor Simon, or poor Esther or poor researcher is wheeled out again and again, just to discredit ME sufferers, lest people – who are still in the dark about ME- actually start to believe us. Really, it is time to move on. There *are* eager biomedical researchers out there, and we don’t need dragged down by all this old news.

    The threats narrative has been allowed to take over the ME narrative, the narrative of 250 000 ill people – whose lives are often in tatters because of ME – is frankly at this point more important than these doctors’ woes. Report the wrongdoers, investigate them, and move on. Please.

    The Countess has said it all in her letter. But I don’t think Simon has really addressed her concerns at all. His reply is here, and also her reply to him:

  9. Countess you are a wonderful lady. Taking the above letter into consideration and remembering little snippets of information I’ve read about this man over the years, i.e. reportedly accusing Camelford Water poisoning victims of faking symptoms for Insurance claims and reports of manipulating M.E. clincal trials with people with the right set of symptoms, I wonder whether these reports are true and whether there is enough collective information to hand over to Panorama or the Tonight programme etc. to do some digging and ask the question “Is this man a vile excuse for a human being, persecuting vulnerable people, is he fit to practice?” or is he the one being completely unjustifiably persecuted? I think it would make for good viewing. There must be some historical documents hanging around.

  10. I too would like to express my gratitude to the Countess of Mar for her forthright approach. The only issue not addressed here is why on earth Prof Wessely repeatedly maintains he has quit the field of M.E. research (for one reason or another -usually some version of being harassed by patients,) to hang out in ‘safer’ climes (a war zone such as Afghanistan,) only to resurface yet again with yet another tedious article or piece of ineffectual research (usually a rehash of previous tedious & long ago proven to be ineffectual research). Grow up man and move on. Most of your patients had to years ago.

  11. I agree, it’s a great letter, and thank you to the Countess. Simon Wessely has been active for years muddying the waters, presumably to benefit insurance companies and the DWP. A year or so ago, he put out his press release about “death threats” to co-incide with the release of an international consensus on a definition and diagnosis of ME.

    The “death threats” were events that had taken place some years before – hardly urgent news. Needless to say, it was the “death threats” that got widespread news coverage – the international consensus didn’t receive a mention. Job done. I hope this letter will help more people see through his antics for what they are.

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