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UK: sign the petition close to forcing government response

A petition for more biomedical research funding for ME/CFS that was started in January is only 2,000 signatures short of the 10,000 needed to force the UK government to issue a response. The signatures must be gathered by 13 July.

The petition is on the UK Government and Parliament Petitions site, where any of the country’s citizens can start a petition with a view to getting the government’s attention. Ten thousand signatures guarantees a response; a hundred thousand offers the chance of a debate in Parliament. Only UK citizens or residents may sign.

The petition, started by Simone de Monerri, reads: “ME/CFS is a debilitating autoimmune disease currently affecting 250,000 people in the UK. Many sufferers are unable to work or care for themselves, and 25% of ME patients are bedbound. Most ME sufferers are on ESA or disability benefits, causing a significant economic burden.

“No universally effective treatment exists for ME. Current NHS treatments for the illness are based on the controversial PACE trial, and have been found ineffective or even harmful.

“Good quality research into the root cause of the illness is needed. The current annual budget for biomedical research works at roughly £1 per patient per year. We want the budget for research to be dramatically increased. We also ask for the formation of a work group focussing on the issues surrounding this disease.”

The petition is by far the most successful so far out of many ME/CFS petitions in the UK over the years, and reflects a growing tendency for the ME/CFS community to be able to mobilise more supporters via online networks, including #MEAction.

De Monerri, writing on #MEAction at the beginning of the year, called on “all British ME sufferers and allies” and said, “Inspired by our American friends and the progress that has been made over in the States with government funding and new research projects, we think it’s time for patients to put the pressure on the UK parliament.”

She added, “We think that with over 250,000 diagnosed M.E. sufferers and many more undiagnosed cases, as well as our families, friends, and M.E. allies, we can hit the 10,000 signature requirement for the government to respond to this petition. Let’s do this!”

ME/CFS funding in the UK is notoriously low: by 2014, only £2 million had been spent on the disease in total over 25 years.

The UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative was set up in 2013 to try to increase research funding and is developing plans for the world’s biggest biomedical ME/CFS study. Science blogger Simon McGrath has estimated the cost of the study at over £5 million.

 

Categories: Advocacy, Awareness, Country, Featured petitions, Petitions, Politics, United Kingdom

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7 comments on “UK: sign the petition close to forcing government response
  1. Rose Craig Waller says:

    This is a great petition and I really want to sign it and put it on my Facebook page, but it is very unclear how I can do that. Can this be put on One of the popular sites for lobbing parliament, such as Change

    1. Jaime S says:

      If you click on the word ‘petition’ it will take you here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/118175

      Then, if you scroll down, you should see that there are buttons to share on Facebook, Twitter, and via email. 🙂

      -Jaime

  2. Windy van den Hooff says:

    Biomedical research is desperately needed for ME/CFS! We want to live not just exist.

  3. Sharon Rose says:

    We are left to die a slow painful death with little or no support.
    I have been bedbound nearly 30yrs with ME + given no help by the medical profession only distained + neglected.
    Many of my friends with ME have already died; like me without living, only existing in unimaginable pain + isolation. It is inhumane and will continue until adequate funding is given for biomedical research.

  4. Barbara says:

    Maybe it’s just me and my brain fog, but I couldn’t find anywhere on this page to click on that would enable me to sign the petition! Please read on if you are also having problems.

    There should be a clear, large icon which says ‘Sign Here’. It was only when I read the comment which said to click on the word ‘petition’ that I eventually found it (but, even then, it took me a while as I was again looking for a large icon and there wasn’t one).

    For anyone having problems working out where to sign, you click on the red word ‘petition’, which forms part of the actual text (just under the Facebook/Twitter/Google icons).

    I’m concerned that some people may have visited with the intention of signing, but then been too confused to work out how to do it.

  5. ALison says:

    You have no idea what it’s like living with this disease. Why will you not help 🙁

  6. el says:

    click the word ”petition” takes you to sign the petition

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