Editorial comment: Get justice for killer blood victims

PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 October 2017

Angela Farrugia lost three brothers - Barry, Victor and David - to contaminated blood. Picture: NIGEL SUTTON

Angela Farrugia lost three brothers - Barry, Victor and David - to contaminated blood. Picture: NIGEL SUTTON

© Nigel Sutton email

When I first heard about the contaminated blood scandal I was horrified.

Horrified that such a hideous health disaster could happen in the first place, the fact it was not that long ago (1970s to ’80s) so I assumed standards at the time would have prevented this and, finally, that hundreds of victims and their families had been swept aside and ignored.

That’s why I’m delighted the victims have now secured a landmark legal victory allowing them to sue the government for compensation.

The contaminated blood scandal is considered one of the worst disasters in the history of the NHS.

Although it should never have happened, it did. And our government’s repeated failure in addressing this years ago is a scandal in itself.

Victims, many of whom have now died, should receive compensation for themselves or the loved ones they left behind.

And it’s quite right that a public inquiry takes place to establish the facts surrounding the disaster and to see if anyone can be held to account for such an awful system that allowed blood to be used from high risk sources such as prisoners and paid donors in the United States.

The relentless and passionate campaigners deserved their day in court.

There is no doubt the British government at the time was at fault. They should have made basic checks on blood products supplied to the NHS. But successive governments also shoulder some blame for allowing this to drag on heaping more pain and misery on families still coming to terms with what happened.

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