Letters British Pain Society manoeuvres

Why the desperation?

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3345 (Published 18 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3345
  1. G Lorimer Moseley, senior research fellow1
  1. 1Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney, NSW 2031, Australia
  1. lorimer.moseley{at}gmail.com

    The recent ousting of Professor Paul Watson from the presidency of the British Pain Society by a selection of society members characterised by their allegiance to injections of therapeutic substances into the back for non-specific low back pain,1 seems a desperate, ill targeted, and rather illogical response to what must be disappointing news.

    One might expect an organised and coherent representation from that group of practitioners, and for it to be delivered through appropriate channels. One might hope for a belated enthusiasm for undertaking the studies to collect evidence in support of their allegiance. One might dream of impassioned vigour in establishing collaborative teams of passionate clinicians and pragmatic researchers to pursue the truth about injections of therapeutic substances into the back for non-specific low back pain. Instead, the chosen response seems to have been an organised and targeted personal attack on one member of the group from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), implemented by exploitation of the legally binding mechanisms of the British Pain Society.

    By taking this response, the society as a whole has been dragged down. From that it should recover, but the damage to the instigators may be harder to overcome. As the world watches the impact of these desperate measures unfold (for the world is watching), we find ourselves asking why, for this selection of society members, are these such desperate times?


    Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3345


    • Competing interests: None declared.