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From: TSS ()
Subject: HEALTH CHIEF'S COVER-UP OF CJD BLOOD DONOR
Date: May 15, 2005 at 1:23 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Health chief's cover-up of CDJ (cjd) blood donor
Date: Sun, 15 May 2005 09:44:11 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
To: BSE-L@aegee.org


##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################


Health chief's cover-up of CDJ blood donor

By DENNIS RICE and JO KNOWSLEY, Mail on Sunday 12:04pm 15th May 2005 The
father of the youngest victim of Britain's worst CJD outbreak has
accused medical authorities of engaging in a seven-year conspiracy to
hide the fact that his son had been a blood donor.

Matthew Middleton, 18, died from the human form of mad cow disease
(vCJD) in March 1997 - one of four victims in a cluster of cases in the
Yorkshire village of Armthorpe.

What the public never learned was that the Edinburgh-based National vCJD
Unit knew before the 18-year-old's death that he was a registered blood
donor.

His father John told doctors as his son lay in coma but was ordered to
keep quiet so that Government inspectors could investigate the cluster
without scaring the public.

A year later, Mr Middleton learned the authorities had traced at least
seven people who had been given Matthew's blood - but that none of them
would be told.

For seven years those known to have received Matthew's tainted blood
were kept in the dark until scientists decided last September that they
should be informed.

They are among 14 people in Britain known to have received vCJD-tainted
blood. They have not been identified but all have been offered
counselling. The decision to contact them came only after the first case
emerged of a patient possibly dying from vCJD contracted through a blood
transfusion.

Last night Mr Middleton, 50, said: "I have carried this awful secret
around for seven years, knowing my son might have unwittingly sentenced
these poor people to death.

"I never agreed with their policy but was forced to go along with it. I
was told that if I went public it would spark panic across the country.

"To hear that none of the people they had traced was going to be warned
was absolutely devastating and not what Matthew would have wanted. It
was as though these people weren't humans at all.

I want to see a public inquiry launched into this now - it is the least
these seven people deserve. I also want to know how they can also be so
sure that only seven people were affected."

Thousands of people can be infected by one contaminated blood product -
depending on the way it is used and dispersed. Blood products are used
in countless procedures: injections to rehydrate burn victims, for
example, can contain elements derived from blood.

Following its change in policy, the Department of Health last year wrote
to more than 6,000 patients who may have received vCJD-contaminated blood.

The cover-up is confirmed in the minutes of a meeting of the Doncaster
Health Authority on November 9, 2001. They reveal how the National vCJD
Unit kept a secret log of people given blood from Matthew and other
donors infected with vCJD.

The minutes, obtained by Jim Oldfield, editor of the Armthorpe Community
Newsletter, say the recipients would not be informed and explain that if
they later donated blood, it was to be thrown away. At this meeting was
Doctor Ken Allen, the consultant in Communicable Disease Control in
Doncaster, who led the Armthorpe CJD investigation.

Dr Allen, who is now retired, said: "It was national policy to not pass
on information to blood recipients, so our hands were tied. You have to
consider what impact it might have had on these people. It could have
ruined their lives."

So-called "new-variant" Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease emerged in Britain in
1995, and is attributed to contaminated meat products. There are 146
known or probable deaths from vCJD, and five people live with the disease.

Last night a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said it was
"satisfied" with the Armthorpe inquiry, adding:

"Throughout our handling of the issue of vCJD we have adopted a highly
precautionary approach based on the best available expert opinion,
taking a series of steps as new evidence became available to maximise
the protection of the public."

This story first appeared in . For more great stories, buy this week's
Mail on Sunday.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/healthmain.html?in_article_id=348749&in_page_id=1774&in_a_source=

TSS

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