Time for an inquiry into contaminated blood
Sep 30 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
THE story of a father who faces a bleak future after he was given infected blood is certainly a harrowing one.
The man had haemophilia in childhood and was given injections of blood donated by inmates in American prisons.
This happened in the 1970s and early 1980s before blood was heat-treated to kill viruses and since the age of 17 the man, who is now in his 40s, has lived with the knowledge that he has HIV, hepatitis C and possibly CJD – the human form of mad cow disease.
He is living under terrible pressure and his condition has a massive impact on all aspects of his daily life.
His young son does not even know he is living, in effect, under an early death sentence.
An inquiry last year decided that successive governments in the past were to blame, describing it as a “horrific human tragedy.’’
Surely it is now time for a public inquiry as up to 6,000 people may have been infected from prisoners’ blood.
The Huddersfield man wants answers and has turned to newly-elected Colne Valley Tory MP Jason McCartney for help.
It will be an early test for the new coalition government as to how rapidly it responds to this controversial and long-running issue.
The least those affected can expect is the Government to pledge counselling, nursing and drugs, but there also seems to be a legitimate claim for compensation that needs resolving too.