Letters, Correspondences by Andrew K Fletcher
MS Society Chief Executive Excuses For Refusing Inclined Bed Therapy Trial
Patron: H.R.H. Princess Alice,
Duchess of Gloucester, QCB, Cl, GCVO, QBE
Founder: Sir Richard Cave, KCVO, CB, DL President: Michael Willis, IP, RIBA
THE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SOCIETY
OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
Andrew Fletcher 'Summer Haze' 26 Berry Drive Paignton Devon TQ3 3QW
27tn August 1999
Thank you for letting me know about your web-site and for the suggestion that we might meet.
I would not want to drag you all the way to London for a meeting without some clear purpose, and at the moment I cannot see what it would be. I have read all the material on your web-site, and it does not seem to add much to what you had previously circulated. We are not likely to support a trial, for several reasons. The first is that you are proposing an intervention that is not specific to MS or any other condition, and without some clear rationale for why it might work for MS it would be impossible to conduct a meaningful trial. Secondly, given the rather hostile approach you have taken to the Society in communications with me and with the media, it would be difficult to envisage working together satisfactorily. Thirdly, you seem to be selling beds and it is nearly impossible to conduct dispassionate work with someone who has a vested interest of that kind.
I have no reason to doubt your assertion that some people with MS feel better as a result of sleeping in a new position, but the evidence, even from the statistics you provided, is very thin and questionable - and as you know, people with MS benefit from all sorts of interventions, even placebo. I wonder whether your theory about the transport of fluids in the body is barking up the right tree, and whether there might be a much more obvious mechanical explanation?
With every good wish. Yours sincerely,
cc: Dr Lorna Layward David Harrison
25 EFFIE ROAD, LONDON SW6 1EE TEL: 0171-610 7171 FAX: 0171-736 9861
Chief Executive: Peter Cardy Chairman: Sarah Phillips Hon Treasurer: Maureen Dickson Medical Advisor: Professor Alan Thompson
Registered Charity 207495