The taintedblood Timeline - what really happened...
Under the heading "Non-A Non-B Hepatitis" we read about the "need for a prospective study of post transfusion NANB in blood recipients or stored sera from haemophiliacs." (see page 2 of PDF link below)
Further on in the minutes, we read in handwritten notes:
"Data on Haemophiliacs to go to Dr A Rejman" (see page 4 of PDF link below).
Please note that Dr A Rejman was a Departmental haematologist, DHSS Med SEB/B.
"The Chiron test had been used in first time recipients of Factor 8Y. Preliminary results had shown no positives, while most recipients of earlier concentrates were Chiron positive. Further study of stored haemophiliac sera was advocated." (see page 6 of PDF below).
Note: It is worth remembering that the new Chiron HCV assay was being used much earlier than we previously thought, since these ACVSB minutes record the use of the HCV test in July 1989 - which in terms of HCV testing was considerably early.
LEGAL NOTE: We should point out that this non-consensual Hepatitis C testing was advocated by a Government advisory committee at a time when English and Welsh haemophiliacs were litigating against the Department. These vulnerable patients were kept in the dark about their HCV status by both the Department of Health and their treating consultants. It goes without saying that this knowledge would have impacted upon their cases. This is an example of material non-disclosure by the defence.
Since the rediscovery of the once-missing ACVSB minutes, we now know that the SNBTS conducted HCV testing on 146 Haemophiliacs in Glasgow. They found that 92 (63%) of these haemophiliacs were positive (and repeat reactive) for HCV as early as August 1989. (see page 10 of PDF source below.)
These clinical trials of the new HCV test were conducted almost certainly without the knowledge of the haemophiliac community and were also carried out at an inopportune time - whilst English and Welsh Haemophiliacs were involved in the HIV Civil Litigation against the Department of Health which had been filed 3 months earlier; back in April 1989. It is clear that this should never have happened during litigation because the information garnered from Scotland impacted on our case in relation to Whitehall and the fact that it was allowed to occur amounts to nothing less than a gross miscarriage of justice on behalf of Government.
Note: It never ceases to amaze us as to the level of the apparent deception and duplicity directed at us by Government. It is clear from the minutes of the ACVSB, a high-powered committee whose responsibility it was to advise Ministers and the CMO, that they were fully aware that haemophiliacs had tested positive for Hepatitis C from as early as August 1989. This was well over one year before the waivers emerged - meaning that people with haemophilia were prohibited from suing in respect of HCV. It is now widely believed that these waivers were illegal.
In the minutes of the Twenty-First meeting of the Haemophilia Centre Directors (HCDO) held on Monday 9th October 1989, it is clear that one of the doctors present, Dr Mortimer of the PHLS, was:
"willing to accept samples for Hepatitis C (HCV) testing. The Working Party would be looking at HCV testing in haemophiliacs." (see page 10 of PDF below).
Note: We find this appalling, especially since the date of the minutes is so early, i.e. October 1989. Many haemophiliacs (including two of the authors of this Timeline) were not informed of their HCV status until as many as 3 years later. This was also an extremely sensitive time, since persons with haemophilia in England and Wales were at least 6 months into the HIV Haemophilia Civil Litigation which had begun in April 1989.
From these minutes, we can determine that there was a drive amongst the HCDO Haemophilia Consultants to garner samples of UK Haemophiliacs' blood for early HCV testing. The report of the Independent Inquiry, chaired by Lord Archer of Sandwell, was satisfied that some patients were subjected to tests without knowledge of their purpose and without their consent. It is our belief that results were deliberately withheld from patients until after the signing of the 1991 waivers.
"The use of the Ortho Hepatitis C assay kit has confirmed anti-HCV seropositivity in all haemophiliacs with well documented NANB hepatitis." (See pages 44-45 of PDF link below)
"Between 1978 and 1983 there have been 50 haemophiliac studies, 31 of them prospective." "The majority of multi-transfused haemophiliacs are shown to be positive for HCV antibody."
Note: We find it quite scandalous that this paper should be submitted in April 1990 to the ACVSB, a government advisory committee - right in the middle of the proceedings of the HIV Haemophilia Litigation. We should also draw attention to the use of the "Ortho Hepatitis C assay kit", the new HCV test, which demonstrates that genuine HCV testing was being conducted.
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