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CJD: families' reaction
relatives
Relatives of vCJD victims arrive to hear the report
Families of the victims of vCJD have started to give their reactions to the inquiry report's contents.

Frances Hall, who lost her son Peter, 20, to vCJD in 1996, said:

"As a mother who has lost a child, ideally I would have liked to see heads on sticks, but realistically that was never going to happen.

"It's a very thorough report, and I am sure it's as fair as it can be.

Frances HAll
Frances Hall: wanted to see "heads on sticks"
"Who knows what was said in corridors, and which bits of paper were destroyed?

"Hopefully it will create safety for the consumers of this country that was lacking before, and prevent another tragedy like this happening again.

"Being told to apologise isn't an apology - they should have apologised to us at the inquiry - when they just walked past us.

"To say they were going home to enjoy a meal of steak on the bone in front of the families - rubbing our noses in it is how it felt.

"It's to late to apologise now."

Gerard Callaghan, whose 30-year-old brother Maurice died from the disease in 1995:

"I made my brother some very important promises on his deathbed, and think I can go home to Belfast and talk to my mum and dad and tell them we have done a good job.

Gerard Callaghan: "We have achieved a great deal"
"There have been some unprecedented scenes today. I don't think I have ever heard so many 'sorries' in one room at one time in my life.

"There are a lot of things we have to ask questions about.

"The care package and compensation package are very important issues.

"I feel the government has done the right thing, the honourable thing."

John Keleghar, whose son Mark, 23, died from the disease in 1999, said:

John Keleghar: "It's too late to apologise"
"I don't think there has been a whitewash, but I would like to read the report in more detail before I take a judgement.

"I'd like to see that the people who have been criticised accept those criticisms. I hope that there won't be any argument or attempt to get out of those criticisms."

"The people from the Conservative government I think only apologised today because they felt they had to.

"The reason they didn't apologise before was because that would have been an admission.

"Their attitude had been epitomised by their appearances before the inquiry hearings.

"I have never seen such a bunch of smug arrogant people in my life."

Andrew Tucker, a solicitor for some of the families, said:

"They are shocked by the whole experience of the day, which has brought back a lot of tragic memories.


Their early concerns are to know that the government is going to implement all of the recommendations quickly

Andrew Tucker, families' solicitor
"Their early concerns are to know that the government is going to implement all of the recommendations quickly and effectively, particularly in relation to food standards.

"They also welcome the commitment to setting up a care package - for which they have campaigned for many years.

"Getting assistance for looking after loved ones in the final phase of this awful disease has been extremely difficult."

Gill Turner, from the CJD Support Network, said:

"They don't seem to have criticised anybody, and I think some of the more militant families who will want some more answers.

"Maybe the claims for compensation and the co-ordinated care packages will help to ease that."

She added: "I was surprised there were no recommendations, but we are pleased that the report talked about fast tracking treatment from health and social services.

"And the families will be pleased with the fact they are going to be compensated."


CJD

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Background

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See also:

22 Oct 00 | Health
18 Jul 00 | Health
28 Apr 00 | Health
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