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Victims and families call for prosecutions as contaminated blood inquiry nears end

Victims and family members affected by the contaminated blood scandal are calling for criminal charges to be considered as the public inquiry into the tragedy draws to a close.

While the inquiry, which will begin to hear closing submissions on Tuesday, cannot determine civil or criminal liability, people affected by the scandal are keen for the mass of documents and evidence accumulated over more than four years to be handed over to prosecutors to see whether charges can be brought.

About 3,000 people are believed to have died and thousands more were infected in what has been described as the biggest treatment disaster in the history of the NHS. The inquiry has heard evidence that civil servants, the government and senior doctors knew of the problem long before action was taken to address it and that the scandal was avoidable. But no one has ever faced prosecution.

Eileen Burkert, whose father, Edward, died aged 54 in 1992 after – like thousands of others – contracting HIV and hepatitis C through factor VIII blood products used to treat his haemophilia, said the inquiry had shown there was a “massive cover-up”.

She said: “In my eyes it’s corporate manslaughter. You can’t go giving people something that you know is dangerous, and they just carried on doing it. As far as my family’s concerned, they killed our dad and they killed thousands of other people and there’s been no recognition for him since he died, there’s been nothing.

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Source: The Guardian, 16 January 2023

See UK Infected Blood Inquiry website for further details on the inquiry.


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