Yesterday I was honoured to be the guest speaker at RAGE’s AGM. RAGE is a group of old ladies who were deliberately given high doses of radiation every other day (as opposed to smaller doses every day) on an experimental basis (they weren’t told it was an experiment) over 20 years ago. The result was that a good many of them were severely damaged. If this had been done in Russia and China or Syria or the Congo there would be outrage at what would be seen as a scandal. But the British media remains silent. No-one is prepared to take on the medical establishment. We no longer allow the police to police themselves but we are happy to let the doctors do so. There has never been an acknowledgement that this was an experiment from the NHS which has for years refused to apologise or take care of these women (it was only very recently that a specialist clinic has been set up to manage their situation – but proper intervention should have happened long ago). Radiation damage is progressive. It starts with tingling in the fingers and ends with unrelievable pain, bones that crumble and early death. Doctors at the Marsden Hospital, one of the hospitals involved in this scandal, reportedly refer to these women as ‘The Crumblies’.
The women would have been more than happy if the doctors had said: “I’m very sorry. What we did was a mistake. What we’ll do now is keep an eye on you and provide what help we can as and when needed.” Instead they said: “We didn’t do anything wrong. We are certainly not going to apologise. You’re a minority. Most women weren’t damaged. Your symptoms are all in the mind. Please stop bothering us. I don’t want to know what’s happening to you.”
Jan Millington, one of the founders and the Chairman of the group has had to live for decades with an arm that hangs limply without any feeling (It was broken for a while but she didn’t know). It was her right hand and as she was right-handed she has had to relearn to do everything with her left. A simply thing like slicing a lemon is almost impossible for her to do. Her collar bone is crumbling and cannot heal itself. Another woman showed me a huge sarcoma tumour that had invaded the irradiated area – her irradiated shoulder had also completely collapsed.
I simply cannot imagine how I would have responded to their situation, yet they continue to plug away at the NHS while the media continues to ignore them.
But in truth they were the less unlucky ones – the worst hit by this high dose experiment were the women who had pelvic cancers. I have written their story in The Cancer Survivor’s Bible – these women are almost all dead because of what happened to them.
You cannot sue a doctor as long as the general medical consensus is that the action was reasonable. This medical experiment was approved and therefore the women were unable to sue for the damage they were caused.