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Church of Ireland calls for compensation for blood contamination victims

Fri 05 Jul 2019
By Heather Preston

The Church and Society Commission of the Church of Ireland is calling on the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to provide financial compensation to victims of infected blood.

A letter requesting an increase in welfare payments to all those affected by blood contamination has been sent to the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP.

Approximately 7,500 haemophilia sufferers were infected with hepatitis C and HIV - the virus that leads to Aids, after receiving contaminated blood products from the NHS in the 1970 and 80s.

The US imported products included donations from high risk groups such as prison inmates and intravenous drug users.

 

Following a public inquiry into the scandal earlier this year, the Prime Minister called the scandal 'a tragedy that should never have happened and has caused unimaginable pain and hurt for victims and their families for decades' and announced the UK government would be providing additional compensation to English families affected by the scandal.

The Church of Ireland is urging Northern Ireland to take similar action.

The commission stated: "As most of the events being covered by the inquiry relate to a period of direct rule, and this is an issue being dealt with at a national level, then we encourage you to take action.

"As a church body and remembering the number of times that Our Lord "had compassion" then, at the very least, the same compassion could be shown to those who have suffered from a tragedy that should never have happened."

 

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