'Bad blood' victims should finally get justice

Robert Viana-Ross -Credit:Peter Jolly
Robert Viana-Ross -Credit:Peter Jolly

There must be justice for the victims of the infected blood scandal. They have experienced immense suffering through no fault of their own, with many having their lives turned upside down.

Robert Viana-Ross and Martin Reid were among the thousands of Scots whose lives were ruined by infected blood products. They were just boys when they were given blood transfusions and developed hepatitis C as a result.

Their parents trusted the doctors who gave out the transfusions. But both men have since been plagued by illness and significant mental turmoil. The Record agrees this is the biggest medical scandal in NHS history and the wait for answers has gone on too long.

It is a disgrace that the Scottish Inquiry by Lord Penrose nine years ago ruled that no one was to blame. But today’s UK inquiry report by Sir Brian Langstaff must give a full and transparent explanation of what went wrong.

His recommendation that victims receive full compensation for care costs and financial harm is the right one. The victims have been fighting for decades – some of them for half a century.

Financial compensation and answers are the least they deserve. May of those infected in 1970s and 1980s have died before hearing the truth. Full compensation for those affected might require close working between the Scottish and UK Governments.

There must be no more delays and no more attempts to pass the buck on to others. Scots campaigner Bruce Norval, who was infected with hep C, deserves special credit for his tireless work in securing

the inquiry. If it was not for his determination the cause of the victims would have been largely ignored. Now at last their voices will be heard loud and clear.

Abuse must stop

Labour MSP Paul Sweeney and Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton deserve credit for talking openly about their mental health. Sweeney has spoken of suffering sleep deprivation and anxiety due to job stress.

And Cole-Hamilton has opened up about seeking therapy over the past two years as debate over difficult issues has spilled into open hostility.

Hopefully their words will shine a light on mental health issues. It should also lead to a toning down of some of the more extreme rhetoric employed by political opponents.

Of course the public is entitled to robustly criticise politicians. We live in democracy. It is a good thing that people are able to air their views.

But far too often our politicians are being personally abused and sometimes threatened with violence. This is unacceptable and there is no place for it in a civilised society.as well.

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