The infamous tainted blood products scandal in Japan, that came to a conclusion, of sorts, a few years back, with the government and companies involved making payouts to the victims, has always been shocking. It seemed horrendous that the government would protect companies from having to pay compensation by not admitting guilt. In the end the victims got compensation and company officials were charged with manslaughter. Not a bad result, but obviously too slow coming. Bad Japan, not the sort of thing that would happen elsewhere…
On a recent Newsnight there was piece about hemophiliacs in the UK contracting Hep. C and AIDS from tainted blood products in the 1980s. What was shocking to me, besides the fact that the UK Government was still refusing to admit guilt to protect the companies involved, was that the blood was being sourced from the american prison system! Can you imagine any worse source of blood than that?
It would appear that a hemophiliac, now with liver cancer in a transplanted liver, is going to attempt to get the UK government to admit guilt in the high court. Freedom of information requests have already shown that the government knew at the time that they were incompetent, and trying to cover it up. Sadly it’s unlikely that the corporations that supplied that tainted products will lack indemnity protection, so the burden will fall on the public.
More on the UK case in the Guardian.