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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 23:13 GMT 00:13 UK
Hepatitis C widow 'needs answers'
Maureen Murphy
Maureen Murphy is due to give evidence to the inquiry

An independent inquiry into contaminated NHS blood products given to patients with haemophilia in the 1970s and 1980s has begun to hear evidence from some of those affected

Maureen Murphy, a 69-year-old widow from Liverpool, says she wants justice for her husband, William, who died in 1994 from hepatitis C.

His two brothers were also affected. Both died of HIV caught from infected blood products which were used to treat their haemophilia.

But unlike Mrs Murphy, the families of her husband's brothers were offered financial support.

Healthy man

"I need answers about why this happened to my husband.

"He was a haemophiliac but he was quite a healthy man and for this to happen to him was so awful and so unjust.

"The government bought the products from America so it is their fault and they were aware of it but they kept it quiet.

I feel angry, it's unjust, and I want someone to admit they did wrong knowingly giving this contaminated blood and say they're sorry
Maureen Murphy

"Who allowed it to happen, why did it happen, why weren't they concerned about infecting and killing these people."

She explained that in 1991, the widows of those who had been infected with HIV received an ex gratia payment

Then in 2003 the government decided to make a payment to those with hepatitis C but those who died before 2003 weren't eligible.

She said 230 other widows had not been eligible because of the cut-off.

"We should be treated with the same respect as the HIV widows, we want the same justice, and we're hoping this inquiry will let the hepatitis C widows have justice."

Mrs Murphy gave up work to be a full-time carer for her husband and because of his haemophilia they were unable to take out insurance policies or mortgage protection.

"I feel angry, it's unjust, and I want someone to admit they did wrong knowingly giving this contaminated blood and say they're sorry.

"Why weren't haemophiliacs told there were risks in this treatment?

"They were aware there were problems but they didn't see fit to inform the haemophiliacs about it."




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