Report finds Britain covered up scandal of tainted blood that killed thousands

According to a report published on Monday, the British government failed to prioritize patient safety during a multi-decade tainted blood scandal, resulting in numerous deaths.

According to a comprehensive report by Justice Brian Justice Langstaff, a former judge on the High Court of England and Wales, Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) tragically permitted the use of blood contaminated with HIV and Hepatitis on patients without their consent. This grievous oversight resulted in the devastating loss of 3,000 lives and over 30,000 infections. The report spans an extensive 2,527 pages, shedding light on this disturbing chapter in the history of NHS.

During a five-year investigation, Langstaff was responsible for overseeing the examination of the use of contaminated blood and blood products within the healthcare system of Britain from 1970 to 1991.

Multiple administrations over the years have been accused of knowingly subjecting victims to unacceptable risks, according to the report.

Patients were exposed to a variety of methods for treatment, including receiving blood transfusions or being administered blood plasma or other blood products to address conditions such as hemophilia.

Health officials have been found to deceive patients about the potential risks involved in certain cases. Additionally, there have been instances where patients, including children, were unknowingly and without consent, exposed to infections during research. In some cases, parental consent was not even sought for these procedures.

Blood tainted with contaminated pathogens and blood products originated not only within Britain but were also imported from the United States. These imports typically took the form of treatments administered to individuals suffering from hemophilia.

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Langstaff’s report uncovered significant deficiencies in the screening process for blood donors. It revealed that the NHS collected blood from prisons, which are considered high-risk environments. This disregard for safety measures is deeply concerning. Furthermore, the report highlighted that the NHS provided patients with false reassurances, seemingly attempting to save face. This failure not only occurred once, but it was a recurring issue, ultimately compromising the well-being of the victims.

The report also highlights the negligence of health officials in disregarding previous recommendations and warnings, which were often issued years ago, regarding the importance of conducting comprehensive hepatitis testing.

Langstaff found that the situation could have been largely, though not entirely, avoided.

According to Langstaff, when looking at the reaction of the NHS and the government, it is evident that there has been a cover-up. However, this cover-up is not in the sense of a deliberate conspiracy, but rather a more subtle and pervasive hiding of the truth. The motive behind this cover-up seems to be saving face and avoiding expenses. Langstaff’s statement highlights the chilling implications of this behavior.

Successive governments have consistently provided inaccurate, defensive, and misleading statements over the years. Their refusal to conduct a public inquiry, along with their defensive stance in acknowledging any wrongdoing, has deprived people of both answers and justice. Consequently, individuals with chronic illnesses have been compelled to invest their time and energy into investigating and advocating for themselves, often at significant personal expense.

The British government has launched a support helpline for individuals and their families who have been impacted by the tainted blood scandal.

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Western countries have faced criticism in the past for concealing tainted blood scandals.

The Krever Report, published in 1997, shed light on a disturbing revelation. It revealed that the federal government and health officials in Canada were well aware of the risks associated with HIV and Hepatitis transmission. Shockingly, during the 1970s and 1980s, approximately 8,000 lives were lost, with 30,000 individuals contracting Hepatitis and 2,000 being infected with HIV. This tragic chapter in Canadian history serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences that can arise from negligence and a lack of proper safeguards.

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