'Day of shame': UK inquiry finds cover-up of NHS infected blood scandal

An infected blood scandal in Britain was no accident but the fault of doctors and a succession of governments that led to 3,000 deaths and thousands more contracting hepatitis or HIV, a public inquiry reported on Monday.

Inquiry chair Brian Langstaff said more than 30,000 people received infected blood and blood products in the 1970s and 1980s from Britain's state-funded National Health Service, destroying lives, dreams and families.

The government hid the truth to "save face and to save expense", he said, adding that the cover-up was "more subtle, more pervasive and more chilling in its implications" than any orchestrated conspiracy plot.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it was "a day of shame for the British state".

"The result of this inquiry should shake our nation to its core," he said, adding that ministers and institutions had failed in the most "harrowing and devastating way".

"I want to make a wholehearted unequivocal apology for this terrible injustice," he told parliament and promised full compensation to those affected.

The families of victims and survivors had sought justice for years and Langstaff, who led a six-year inquiry, said the scale of what happened was both horrifying and astonishing.

Other victims were used in medical trials without their knowledge or consent. Those who contracted HIV were often shunned by their communities.

(Reuters)


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
French court opens probe into three former executives at disgraced care home group Orpea
HIV-positive patients in Libya struggle for care amid Covid-19 pandemic
'Don't be afraid of yourself': The importance of fighting stigma surrounding HIV