Infection of 30,000 people with HIV and hepatitis C “was no accident”

This Monday it saw the light United Kingdom Report on one of the worst public health scandals in the country’s history. More than 30,000 people were infected with HIV and hepatitis C. contaminated blood products During the 1970s and 1980s, the person in charge of investigating a disaster, brian langstaffhas made it clear “It was no accident”,

The report on infected blood highlights “numerous failures at the systemic, collective and individual levels” that led to the tragedy. victims were deceived “Not once, but again and again” By doctors, bodies like the NHS and others responsible for your safety, as well as by the government. In the words of Langstaff, “Patient safety was not given priority in decision making”Even though the risk of transmission of viral infections in blood and blood products was well known.

The document details several key points, including the lack of action to prevent Import of blood products from abroad, particularly from the United States, where prisoners and drug addicts were paid to donate blood at the time. In addition, blood donations continued to be obtained from high-risk populations within British borders, such as prisoners, until 1986. Treatment by heating blood to eliminate HIV was not developed until late 1985, despite the risks having been known since 1982. There is also a lack of adequate tests to determine the risk of hepatitis since the 1970s.

Langstaff noted that “Patients were exposed to unacceptable risks of infection”, a situation which was not due to lack of knowledge. “The dangers of viral infection from blood and blood products were known long before most patients were treated: in the case of hepatitis, since the end of World War II,” Langstaff said. Despite this, “Government decisions were slow and lengthy”And the belief that “the doctor knows best” was so strong that no guidelines were issued to prohibit the unsafe use of blood and blood products.

The report also revealed that the patient They were not informed about the risks of their treatment, thus depriving them of the option to choose in an informed manner; They were tested without their knowledge or consent and were not informed about the results, depriving them of the possibility of treatment for years. Additionally, some patients, including children, were used in medical trials without their knowledge or informed consent, which Langstaff calls “Treason”,

The report concludes that the damage caused was compounded by the response of the government, the NHS and the medical profession, who, in an attempt to protect their reputations and avoid compensation costs, He refused to accept responsibility, showing little interest in finding the truth or listening to the infected. Victims and their families, in addition to dealing with the consequences of the original infection, have had to fight for the truth for decades. Successive governments since then have claimed that patients received the best treatment available at the time and that blood testing was introduced as soon as possible, which was not true.

Langstaff explains that the deliberate destruction of documents by Health Department workers was a “Deep disappointment” And key findings of the report include knowing the exposure of patients to unacceptable risks of infection, the frequent use of unnecessary blood transfusions, and the fact that blood products imported to treat many patients were unsafe and not authorized in the United Kingdom. Should have gone.

It is also mentioned in the report Case in point Treloar SchoolWhere boys and girls suffering from hemophilia were treated “Research objects instead of children”According to Langstaff. Of the 122 students with haemophilia who attended the school between 1970 and 1987, only 30 are still alive. doctor rosemary biggsOne of the leading experts there described the situation at that time as “A unique opportunity to study this disease”,

Finally, the report recommends an immediate compensation scheme, the erection of memorials throughout Britain and at Treloar College, and immediate testing for hepatitis C for anyone who received a blood transfusion before 1996. This scandal, which could and should have been avoided, is a vindication for the victims and their families who have fought for the truth for decades.

Sunak promised compensation

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak apologized to the victims in a statement in the House of Commons. “I want to apologize sincerely and unequivocally for this terrible injustice,” he said, referring to several aspects, such as “its devastating and often fatal impact on the lives of so many” and “the reaction to it as it emerged.” Mismanagement” of AIDS and hepatitis viruses in victims of infected blood.

He criticized “the repeated failure of the state and our medical professionals to recognize the harms they are causing”, “the institutional failure to confront these failings and, worse, attempts to deny and even cover them up Also apologized for doing this. It took a while for a prolonged public inquiry to begin. He said, “This is an apology from the state to everyone affected by this scandal,” and promised that they would compensate because an apology was not enough.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button