Action for M.E. and Lightning Process research on children – An opinion:Peter Kemp August 2010 AfME stated on their facebook page (http://wp.me/p5foE-31M) on 20th August,2010: “It is a fact that many parents are already taking their children to LP practitionersand so there are urgent questions that need to be addressed in order to assure thesafety of those children.” This gobbledegook does not explain or justify AfME’s support for LP experimentationon children. Are the children in some kind of danger as AfME’s statement implies? If so then LPpractitioners should urgently be prevented from tampering with the vulnerable mindsof sick children until LP is properly researched. But this does not appear to be AfME’sintention.Or are AfME suggesting that because some children are already LP subjects thissomehow makes it ok to experiment with LP on children in formal research?If ethics theorists took this approach then codes and guidelines intended to protectchildren might simply say – ‘if the parents think it’s ok, then children can beexperimented on’.Guidelines don’t say that. They say that adults should always be experimented onfirst if it is possible to do so. With LP it is perfectly feasible to try it on adults first, “inorder to assure the safety of those children”. AfME seem to be resting on a cop-out to justify their support of experimenting onchildren’s minds: “Before any research is approved, an ethics committee scrutinises the proposals toensure that the rules about research involving children are satisfied. The committeealso ensures that proper safety systems are in place and include safety monitoring byan independent committee.” Ethics is an evolving area of human values. Almost no ethical statement, code orguideline survives more than a few years before weaknesses are found that must beaddressed with updated versions. To take a position similar to – ‘if an ethicscommittee says it’s ok then we agree’ – is capitulating all responsibility to defend therights and interests of children with M.E. The only thing that any ethics committeecan be relied upon to do, is to try and figure out if a particular research project issafe and legal within the limits of current knowledge and human frailty. AfME are supposed to be an ‘M.E.’ charity. Are they unaware that many people,including many doctors, do not understand M.E.?