The inventor of Morgellons Disease, the biologist Leitao found the term in a very old reference book and used it to describe her child's rash, which doctors described as common eczema. Fuelled by various sensationalist news stories, Morgellons has achieved a life of its own, despite the fact that few serious researches have found anything novel about the conditions (apart, possibly, from the fact that the patients may suffer from delusional parasitosis). The disease seems to affect a particular group of people predisposed towards mistrust towards “established medical science”, and the people doing serious discussions of the condition at morgellonswatch appears to have closed down.
No one doubts that patients are suffering, of course, but the "research foundation" (where Leitao is executive director) has already decided what’s going on. They have started with a conclusion rather than a hypothesis, and are hence working on making the data fit. Which is, of course, not how science is done. In fact, the little research there is in support of the diagnosis is often (well, consistently) rather poor, such as this one (where Leitao herself was involved).
This is, in short, one of the plagues of modern day healthcare. The afflicted people surely need treatment, but knowing about your own symptoms does not confer authority regarding what the cause of the illness, or the correct diagnosis, is. People who have encountered Morgellons usually ask for the medical establishment to show some empathy, be tolerant and open-minded – failing to recognize that it is they who have already decided on what the correct conclusions are (which is, of course, anything but open-minded), not those who are skeptical of the nature of the disease. Having reached the conclusion without evidence (and then attempting to fit the evidence to the conclusion) makes Leitao and her associates (such as Marc Neumann) crackpots (and that is the case even if it should – contrary to what evidence suggests today – turn out that she is, in the end, correct about Morgellons being a real disease).
Diagnosis: Surely worthy of empathy, and Leitao certainly has people’s best interest in mind; but she is definitely a crackpot, and as such, she may end up – unintentionally – doing quite a lot of harm.