Recognizing EHS as Environmentally Caused Impairment: DR. OLLE JOHANSSON’S LETTER ON ELECTROHYPERSENSITIVITY (EHS)

25 NOVEMBER 2012

Dr. Olle Johansson’s Letter on Electrohypersensitivity (EHS)

Dr. Olle Johansson
Recently, André Fauteux, Editor of the Canadian magazine, “Maison du 21e siècle” asked Dr. Olle Johansson to send him the Swedish Government document confirming that electrosensitivity is a recognized functional impairment.  Here is Dr. Johansson’s reply.
“In essence,” he writes, “no official bodies or governments are needed to recognize any functional impairment. The presence or lack of EHS studies are not a prerequisite for any functional impairments, on the contrary. Impairments are viewed from the point of the environment.
No human being is in itself impaired, there are instead shortcomings in the environment that cause the impairment. Thus, it is the environment that should be “treated”!
“One way is through the introduction of the proper biologically-based EMF human exposure guidelines. This environment-related impairment view means that even though one does not have a scientifically-based complete explanation for the impairment electrohypersensitivity, and in contrast to disagreements in the scientific society, the person with electrohypersensitivity shall always be met in a respectful way and with all necessary support with the single goal to eliminate the impairment.”
Dr. Olle Johansson’s Letter on Electrohypersensitivity (EHS), published in WEEP News, 24 November 2012
 
In Sweden, electrohypersensitivity
 (EHS)* is an officially fully recognized functional impairment (i.e., it is not regarded as a disease, thus no diagnosis* exists; N.B. This is not special for Sweden, the terms “functional impairment” and “disease” are defined according to various international documents (see below)). Thus, the first step for a person in Sweden with a functional impairment is to contact the municipality’s special civil servant for disability issues, as well as the various handicap organizations and authorities, to achieve accessibility measures of various types with the sole aim to have an equal life in a society based on equality (according to the UN 22 Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for People with Disabilities – since 2007 upgraded into The UN Convention on Human Rights for Persons with Functional Impairments, http://www.un.org).[*It’s symptoms are classified as an occupationally-related symptom-based diagnosis (code ICD-10) by the Nordic Council of Ministers since 2000. DIVS: 2000:839; ISBN: 92-893-0559-2http://www.nordclass.uu.se/verksam/yrke_s.htm%5D

Persons with the functional impairment electrohypersensitivity have their own handicap organization, TheSwedish Association for the Electrohypersensitive (http://www.feb.se; the website has an English version). This organization is included in The Swedish Disability Federation (Handikappförbundens SamarbetsOrgan; HSO; http://www.hso.se; the site has an English short version). As a consequence of this, The Swedish Association for the Electrohypersensitive receives an annual governmental subsidy.

An impairment is – by definition – not defined by someone else or proven by certain tests, etc. The impairment is always personal (private) and develops when in contact with an inferior environment.

[N.B. Remember that functional impairments are only based upon each individual’s impaired accessibility to – and contact with – an inferior environment (cf. the UN), thus, there is actually no need for any “recognition” in local laws (cf. the UN). In Sweden, the former Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Lars Engqvist – as a member of the previous government – anyhow gave his “approval” in a letter dated May, 2000 [Regeringskansliet 2000-04-06, Dnr S2000/2158/ST; see page 85 of the enclosed report]. He also made it clear in his response that for EHS persons there are no restrictions or exceptions in the handicap laws and regulations. Thus, these laws and regulations are to be fully applied also for EHS persons.]

Treating members of the community equally is not something that should be done as a favour;  nor is it something that any parliament or government should politely request other inhabitants to provide others with. Equality is not something to be done “out of the goodness of one’s heart”. It is something one does because it is expected of every citizen, because inaccessibility and discrimination are prohibited by law. Thus, it is not alright to deliberately make your symptoms worse.

The electrically hypersensitive must therefore, in every situation and by all available means, demand respect¸ representation and power. They shall very clearly reject all approaches which reflect 
a mentality of “feeling pity for them” or “caring for them”. Inaccessibility is not a personal problem. It is a problem for society. Inaccessibility is not about attitudes. It is about discrimination. And discriminatory actions and conduct shall not be dealt with by well-meaning talk about treatment. Discrimination is already illegal!

This view can fully be motivated in relation to national and
international handicap laws and regulations, including the UN 22
Standard Rules/UN Convention and the Swedish Action Plan for Persons with Impairments (prop. 1999/2000:79 “Den nationella 
handlingplanen för handikappolitiken – Från patient till medborgare”; Proposition 1999/2000:79, 1999/2000:SoU14). Also, the Human Rights Act in the EU fully applies.

++++++++

So, in essence, no official bodies or governments are needed to recognize any functional impairment. The presence or lack of EHS studies are not a prerequisite for any functional impairments, on the contrary. Impairments are viewed from the point of the environment. No human being is in itself impaired, there are instead shortcomings in the environment that cause the impairment. Thus, it is the environment that should be “treated”! One way is through the introduction of the proper biologically-based EMF human exposure guidelines. This environment-related impairment view means that even though one does not have a scientifically-based complete explanation for the impairment electrohypersensitivity, and in contrast to disagreements in the scientific society, the person with electrohypersensitivity shall always be met in a respectful way and with all necessary support with the single goal to eliminate the impairment.

If anyone does not adhere to the above, an official legal complaint should always be filed. This measure applies to everyone from single persons to whole countries. As countries are based on individuals, they are the key to “recognition”; it all starts with ourselves, how we act in every situation. To claim differently is to say “good-bye” to true and genuine democracy.

Olle Johansson, Professor
The Experimental Dermatology Unit
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institute
171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

Advertisements

One thought on “Recognizing EHS as Environmentally Caused Impairment: DR. OLLE JOHANSSON’S LETTER ON ELECTROHYPERSENSITIVITY (EHS)

  1. Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s