Exciting news!! Mesothelioma Warrior Debbie Brewer, our friend from the U.K., will speak to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in July! Debbie will address Members of Parliament, sharing her personal battle with mesothelioma and raising awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘U.K.’
One of our favorite Meso Warriors, Debbie Brewer, was disappointed this week to learn that her mesothelioma had progressed. Many of you have been following Debbie’s story through the past several years, since she originally shared it with us. Debbie has become a leader in the fight for mesothelioma awareness, and is an outspoken advocate both in her home in the U.K. and worldwide. (more…)
Earlier this month, Chris Hahn, executive director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) expressed his support for the recent announcement from the UK that it plans to not only endorse compensation for mesothelioma victims, but to promote research and treatment. In a news release, Hahn praised the U.K. for its recognition “that society’s obligation and moral responsibility to remedy the tragic legacy of decades of asbestos use requires funding research to develop effective medical treatments.” Then, he asked the all-important question: “Will the United States follow?”
Hahn’s praise and plea followed remarks by the U.K.’s Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw, who has been outspoken about the government’s role in caring for workers harmed by asbestos on the job. Straw issued a statement Feb. 25, 2010, in response to an ongoing debate over the government’s decision on the question of compensation for pleural plaques.
Although pleural plaques, which are small areas of fibrosis in the pleura of the lung caused by asbestos exposure, indicate that a person has been exposed to asbestos, they generally do not cause any significant change in lung function. As a result, the Law Lords on Oct. 17, 2007 determined that people who have pleural plaques, but no other asbestos-caused illness, are not eligible for any compensation for medical treatment or other financial claims. The debate over pleural plaques sparked a national debate about asbestos disease.
Although subsequent research did not provide enough evidence to overturn the Law Lords’ ruling, it has provided significant information about asbestos disease, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. The government also is establishing a number of policies to make it easier for those who are diagnosed with mesothelioma or serious asbestos disease to receive compensation more quickly. Additionally, the research has encouraged the UK government to take a stronger stand on mesothelioma research and treatment.
According to Straw’s statement, “The fact that the UK has one of the highest rates of death from mesothelioma in the world is a legacy of our industrial heritage and the part that asbestos played in it. Just as the UK was a global leader in the asbestos industry, we must now become a global leader in research into asbestos-related disease.”
The government of the UK is calling for the creation of a National Centre for Asbestos-Related Disease, which will be a “collaborative network of funded researchers whose core purpose would be to advance medical research into the prevention, cure and alleviation of asbestos-related disease – primarily mesothelioma,” according to Straw. He said the insurance industry has pledged £3 million toward this research effort.
Benefits of such a concentrated and cooperative research and treatment program would not only benefit mesothelioma patients, but also would significantly reduce the costs of litigation, death and disability benefits, and health care costs, Hahn points out.
“This is exactly what the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has been urging in the United States the past ten years,” Hahn says. “Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are a fundamental problem of social justice. And a just solution to that problem requires medical research to develop effective treatments to end the suffering and save lives. It is encouraging to see that the U.K. is getting it; we hope the U.S. will catch up soon.”
Read Hahn’s statement.
For more information, visit the Meso Foundation online at www.curemeso.org.