NICE guideline defended against detractors

Logical fallacies in paper bemoaning the new NICE guideline for ME/CFS

Brian Hughes eloquently counters statements made by various authors who seek to undermine the recent NICE guideline on ME/CFS.

It must be very annoying for both the medical journal and the authors of this new paper, which is criticising the new NICE guideline on ME/CFS, to find that it is being regularly critiqued before it has been published!

Will they ever give up?

Dr Charles Shepherd


Martin Rücker, a investigative journalist in Germany, has revealed the details of an as-yet-unpublished opinion piece that has been written by a cadre of these individuals. He outlined their overall approach and some information about the content of the piece in an extensive Twitter thread.

It seems that a key objective of the paper is to highlight “eight major errors” perpetrated by the NICE committee “in the guideline process and outcome” of the ME/CFS review.

David Tuller and Adam Lowe (a member of the NICE ME/CFS committee) have dissected the various “errors” here.

What strikes me most about the list of claimed errors is not their lack of substance, but their lack of logic.

These days, we hear a lot of catastrophising about the post-truth society. In my view, modernity’s crisis is more complicated than that. The issue isn’t the absence of veracity, it is the absence of validity. The problem is not that society has moved beyond a norm of expecting claims to be true, it is that, by and large, we no longer check to see if they are even logical.

The problem of living in a post-logic society is that it returns us to an age of deference. We revert to an existence where (self-styled) authority figures are enabled, if not encouraged, to say whatever comes into their minds, knowing that they will go unchallenged even if they end up spouting nonsense.

This “eight-so-called-major-errors” paper is an excellent example of this problem.

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