Haemosexual Australia: Contaminated Blood Scandal
TAINTED BLOOD AUSTRALIA
AUSTRALIA’S WORST PUBLIC HEALTH SCANDAL
Tainted blood has impacted thousands of Australians. Right up until the 1990’s patients were exposed to blood and blood products that were tainted by deadly viruses. Victims of this scandal include adults, children, pregnant women, haemophiliacs, the sick, the anaemic, accident victims, and those having had elective surgery, they have not been isolated to the acutely ill who would have died without an urgent transfusion.
While this is a medical scandal the like of which Australia has never seen before, it is in essence, first and foremost, a human tragedy that has destroyed the lives of many men, women and children…And it is these very people and their rights to justice that we fight for.
Australia’s Contaminated Blood Scandal
Australian Red Cross Society
6th August 1990
Subject: Hepatitis C
A global scandal of wholesale mass slaughter. The suffering inflicted differs slightly within each country. Sadly, the exploitation, premature deaths and other offences committed on haemophiliacs is plain to see. When doctors, politicians and big businesses focus on profits over safety and lives in the blood trade, nobody is safe.
In 2002, victims of Australia’s worst medical disaster, contaminated blood, sacrificed their rights to privacy, and gave their accounts on national television. Victims included adults, children, pregnant women, the sick, the anaemic, accident victims, and those having had elective surgery. Recipients of blood and blood products contaminated by Hepatitis C were victims, who went into hospital, received contaminated transfusions or medicines like factor V111 for haemophiliacs, and ended up with this life-changing disease. The Sunday programme exposed how 20 000 Australian hospital patients had fallen victim to Hepatitic contaminated blood. Alarmingly, the inquiry also learned that years later, 9000 of them had still not been contacted by authorities and notified of their infections.
The majority of victims told of a changed life, in which they experienced debilitating symptoms, loss of employment, financial hardship, marriage break ups, discrimination, liver failure, and a life of uncertainty. Consequently the Sunday programme learned that while this was a medical disaster, it was in essence, first and foremost, a human tragedy that destroyed the lives of many men, women and children.
Australia’s blood products manufacturer who made blood products for children with the blood disorder haemophilia, CSL, admitted that overseas blood is mixed into Australia’s blood supply.
In 1996 CSL admitted that it had mixed Australian blood with blood from several foreign countries for distribution in Australia.
In 1999 the Australian National Audit Office released a report entitled, Commonwealth Management and Regulation of Plasma Fractionation (See Audit Office site at www.anao.gov.au). The Auditor-General reported that, in October 1998, a Health Department officer on a visit to the US discovered that CSL had breached safety regulations by importing and processing plasma from at least one US source without the Health Department’s knowledge and without submitting the records of the plasma importation.
Following this discovery, Health Department officials raided CSL’s Broadmeadows facility on November 24, 1998. They confirmed that breaches of safety protocols had occurred. In spite of these safety breaches, between December 1998 and June 1999, CSL continued to process foreign-sourced blood without the approval of the Health Department.
Thousands of Australian’s were infected with hepatitis C from blood and blood products. No help, apology, or justice has ever been afforded to the children whose lives were destroyed by this.
It is now time for the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull and the Australian government to properly investigate this mass slaughter of innocent lives.
The Australian Government in 2005 considered apologising to “tainted blood” victims. They’re still waiting.
Long wait: Charles MacKenzie has fought governments, health bureaucrats and blood providers for years after up to 20,000 Australians knowingly received “tainted blood” in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. He is campaigning for the apology the Australian Government committed to in 2005. Picture: Simone De Peak.
Up to 20,000 other Australians – including babies, children, women after childbirth and haemophiliacs – are believed to have received “tainted blood” transfusions in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, in what has been described as a human health disaster and global scandal.
Two decades of fighting medical injustice. National Living Treasure Reverend Bill Crews and healthcare activist (ME) Charles MacKenzie aka hospital bungles…
Spending time with Rev Bill Crews is an honour. But to chat to him with Australia listening was a real buzz.
16th February 2018
Interview on ABC News, following the launch of Australian Tainted Blood victims campaign for a judicial inquiry into this global scandal.
Will Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull finally provide justice, peace and dignity to the thousands of Australians targeted?
ABC News interview with the fantastic Charles MacKenzie
"This isn't about money, it's about answers. Is our healthcare system safe?" Australian Campaigner and victim Charles Mackenzie @Haemosexual & British Inquiry Campaigner Mark Ward launch their campaign for a judicial inquiry on tainted blood transfusions pic.twitter.com/xqfrjXf2AQ
— ABC News (@abcnews) February 16, 2018
16th February 2018
The words come straight from the heart when you are talking to friends. I am honoured to be one of the people to call Rev Bill Crews just that, my friend
The launch of Australian Tainted Blood victims campaign for a judicial inquiry with Charles Mackenzie, Reverend Bill Crews and Mark Ward.
15th February 2018
Today in Sydney another step towards justice and a safer world was taken. If we do not learn from the past how can we protect the future?
It’s estimated more than 8,000 Australians were infected with hepatitis and HIV due to tainted blood transfusions in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
14th February 2018
As I arrived in the Land Down Under the story of the Australian Tainted Blood victims broke. This global scandal has seen thousands of avoidable deaths, which numerous governments have witnessed. Do we really have any rights as human beings when innocent little boys have been slaughtered for profit and embarrassment.
Victims of Australian tainted blood scandal in new fight for justice