Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Clinical Review State of the Art Review

Autism spectrum disorder: advances in diagnosis and evaluation

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 21 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1674

Rapid Response:

Re: Autism spectrum disorder: advances in diagnosis and evaluation. Mr John Stone’s response

Mr Stone asks, “ Why does it always fall to me.....”?

My answer is:
1. Thank heavens the BMJ allows awkward questions to be published on the web.
2. Her Majesty’s Govt is a pachyderm. It will not react to minor stimuli.
3. The medical profession today is largely inert.
4. The medical officer of health who was examined and cross-examined by the elected councillors and by the press was consigned to the dustbin of history in 1974.
5. The “community physicians” who were born in 1974 were expected to be the catalysts of change, trouble-makers and then only administrators. Some of them DID do the job, aided by community health councils and a still vigorous press and television (at least in my experience - please check the local and national press and television records).
Then HMG abolished community health councils (they were so awkward to the Establishment).
6. Now we do have Directors of Public Health. Do they, sometimes, listen to their public (such as Mr Stone) and answer their questions? I do not think so. Never have I seen a rejoinder by a director of public health.
7. The psychiatrists (you might think they had an interest in autism) and paediatricians ( you might reasonably suggest, DO have an interest in the causes, the incidence, the increasing incidence of autism) are mute.

Fare thee well, epidemiology.
Fare thee well, public health.

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 July 2018
JK Anand
Retired doctor
Free spirit