TB Press Release
Wednesday 19 October 2011
Sent out tonight to all our usual contacts:
Blood Victims Accuse Government of Crimes against Humanity.
The Penrose Inquiry, which is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of people infected with contaminated NHS blood and blood products, continues to hear new evidence. We believe that recent testimonies completely invalidates the Government support packages for those infected and affected by contaminated blood and blood products. We also believe that this evidence shows that the human rights of those infected have been breached by committing mental torture and crimes against humanity.
Testimony made by eminent Hepatalogist Professor Howard Thomas has triggered outrage from the infected community. Campaigners are questioning the validity of the criteria used by the Government for establishing whether any support can be offered to those infected and affected. It takes no account of the way in which Hepatitis C affects other parts of the body, particularly the brain, thereby discriminating against different patient groups. Professor Thomas’s evidence also highlighted the fact that those people who are co-infected with HIV suffer from an increased rate of progression of Hepatitis C – another fact that has been repeatedly ignored by Government when deciding on levels of support.
TaintedBlood and fellow campaigners now call for urgent and complete clarification by Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health, on the following fundamentally important questions which we believe must be addressed:
1. Was Dr Thomas’s professional opinion and research given in his evidence to Lord Penrose, regarding Hepatitis C, used as part of the January 2011 Government review?
2. How much profit has the Treasury made from royalties, sales or licensing of technologies developed during the 1980s? In particular, how much money has the British Technology Group made from technologies developed to test those infected with viruses in the 1980s to date?
3. Why was the harvesting of blood from British prisoners allowed to continue when viral contamination was well documented and the AIDS crisis had gripped the world?
If Andrew Lansley cannot or will not answer these questions, then we believe that his motives for not doing so, along with his integrity, should be questioned by the Prime Minister.
Finally, we would like to point out that Lord Morris’s Contaminated Blood (Support for Infected and Bereaved Persons) Bill is due to have its second reading on 21st October. This bill has already been blocked by Government whips on several occasions in the last eighteen months and, in light of emerging evidence, we demand that this time the Government does the right thing. By doing so they can bring about an end to over 25 years of suffering inflicted on a small group of sick, disabled and dying people.
Article submitted by Sue Threakall