31 August 1999
Thank you for your letter of 24 August - as you supposed, I did not receive the letters that you had sent to my old Cornish address in error. I did receive your letter of 23 June, but it was hard to know how to reply. As I understand it, Mr James Wilson-MacDonald's letter [ie the "expert opinion" paid for by the solicitor] can be summarised as follows:
Simply because there are multiple lesions on a number of my thoracic vertebral plates caused by Scheuermann's Disease, there is no evidence that these are the underlying cause of my spinal pain, muscle spasms, nerve irritation etc which arise from the same site. In fact, any mental health problems which I have suffered over the nine years since becoming disabled are more likely to be the cause of my chronic pain and impairment than resulting from it or from the effects of my pain and impairment on my career and my personal relationships.
Although Mr Wilson-MacDonald gives no opinion on what the cause of my symptoms actually is, he believes that all of the treatment which I have received for them was appropriate; that although I did not actually receive any treatment at all for nine months, this qualifies as 'early' treatment; and that in any case, whatever the cause, I would have suffered from the same disabling symptoms regardless of what treatment I received. In particular, he believes that the treatment I received at the Royal London Hospital was reasonable, even though I did not consent to it and it has left me with a permanently stiffened spine; and that as treatment with a brace is 'a last resort', it would have been inappropriate for me to have been treated with a brace earlier than five and a half years after my symptoms commenced.
Mr Wilson-MacDonalid also believes that the major differences which appropriate drug treatment and use of the brace have made to my quality of life are irrelevant, since they have not had any impact on the underlying symptoms save to relieve them considerably.
As Mr Wilson-MacDonald is obviously an 'expert' in the eyes of the medical profession and the law, since he has been able to come to these conclusions without even seeing or examining me, I agree with you that it is not possible to continue with any claim, and I must therefore continue to deal with the effects of my impairment on my life as best I can.
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