Thursday 16 August 2018

Act now to atone for this great hurt

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank McGrath
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank McGrath
Editorial

Editorial

The Taoiseach and the Minister for Health each favour a situation where the women adversely affected by the CervicalCheck scandal are afforded an opportunity "to establish negligence in a non-adversarial way, that doesn't involve a witness box in court and having to talk about your own personal health in a very public forum".

But we are told that the well-meaning efforts of Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris are being frustrated by the "legal aggression" of the American laboratories, partners in the screening programme with the HSE, who are resisting any form of mediation and determined to force all of the 221 women involved to prove negligence in potentially lengthy and much-delayed court cases.

The Government has set up forums to investigate each of these cases to try to find a way of establishing who has been wronged by the process and how this might be addressed. They have tasked High Court Judge Charles Meenan with examining compensation options, including a redress scheme that would obviate the need for court ordeals. Separately, a clinical review of all women diagnosed with cancer in the past 10 years has begun, though this is delayed while individual permission is sought from each of the women. And a public Commission of Inquiry is also promised.

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