Intended for healthcare professionals

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Cumberlege review exposes stubborn and dangerous flaws in healthcare

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 06 August 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3099

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Rapid Response:

Re: Cumberlege review exposes stubborn and dangerous flaws in healthcare

Dear Editor
I have kept abreast of the patients and their stories behind the Cumberlege Review for many years. They are typical of the patient stories which are never published in your prestigious journal. Perhaps because they come from people who lack your education, your privilege, your elevated position in society. But, as pointed out in the Review, they are the very source of your power and are deserving of your utmost attention.

I applaud Emma Friedmann for the sincerity and passion with which she has written. She has dared raise the questions many patients have asked over the years and continue to ask. Questions which in the main are never answered, but now deserve your full and undivided attention. I am grateful too, that you have published her letter. I hope that it will be the beginning of a trend where all voices are heard and seriously considered.

I must also second John Stone’s query concerning vaccination. The issue of vaccination damage has for far too long been ignored with the most dreadful consequences for society at large. Patients who attempt to raise the issue are contemptuously pilloried and dismissed as Anti-Vaxxers in the media. Let me state very clearly. We are not anti vaccine. We are anti unsafe vaccines, which are many. A more fitting title would in most cases be Ex-vaxxers – those of us who have suffered adverse reactions and in some cases life threatening reactions, would attest to that. Surely nothing less than a “fair hearing” as Mr Stone requests, must be the only decent and equitable course of action, made all the more urgent in the light of the many Covid vaccines being developed at speed at the current time.

As an immigrant to this country, I find it deplorable that such a state exists in a supposed National Health Service.
In other countries, patients are equal partners in their treatment and are not regarded as irrelevant in the decision making process.

My most sincere hope is that this Review will lead to a root and branch change in the attitude to patients and that an inclusive, informed consent process will ensue which can only lead to increased physical and mental health, a well adjusted society and ultimately, elevated levels of job satisfaction, respect and trust for the medical profession.

Competing interests: No competing interests

25 August 2020
Karyse Day
Previously Vaccine Damaged Adult/Informed Patient