In the tainted blood case, thousands of Britons compensated

In the United Kingdom, a vast tainted blood scandal killed some 2,400 people in the 1970s and 1980s. On Wednesday, the British government announced that thousands of victims would be compensated. They will receive a first payment of 100,000 pounds (119,000 euros), in accordance with the recommendations at the end of July from the head of the public inquiry into this long-term affair.

“The moral obligation of compensation is beyond doubt,” commented former magistrate Brian Langstaff, calling on the government to pay immediate compensation, without waiting for the end of the investigations. The government said Wednesday that the tax-free payments would be made by the end of October to the sick or the spouses of the deceased.

Thousands of people infected

Thousands of people with hemophilia were infected with the hepatitis C virus and HIV after receiving blood transfusions in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. These batches of blood, mainly from the United States, were transfused within National Health Service (NHS) facilities. Some 2,400 patients have died from these diseases, according to estimates.

The decision to open a public inquiry to shed light on this tragedy was taken in 2017 by the British government. A previous inquiry concluded in 2009 found that the government should have acted sooner to boost Britain’s blood supply and end dependency on imports. It had led to the establishment of a system of compensation for victims, but no trial had been opened and responsibilities had not been established.

“Nothing can make up for the pain and suffering”

In September 2017, the UK High Court of Justice allowed victims of the scandal to bring a class action claim for damages. In a statement on Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged that “nothing can compensate for the pain and suffering suffered by those who have been affected by this tragic injustice”. But he added that the government was “taking steps to do the right thing for the victims and those who have tragically lost their loved ones, to ensure that they receive these first payments as quickly as possible. “.

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The public inquiry should be completed next year and recommendations should be made in this context for the compensation of a larger number of people, including parents and children of patients.

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