HC Deb 04 March 1997 vol 291 c568W
Mr. David Nicholson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will now hold a public inquiry in respect of patients treated with pituitary-derived human growth hormone who have contracted Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. [18944]

Mr. Horam

I regret if I inadvertently misled the House on 24 February 1997 at column 128 in saying that the judge, Mr. Justice Morland, had actually said that the hearing was in inquisitorial examination rather than an adversarial one. He did, however, say that the Department hadgiven full discovery so far as logistically possible and have not withheld any witnesses who could have given worthwhile evidence.

In practice, therefore, the court case was very much like a public inquiry, and I am not convinced that another public examination of these issues would add anything further.

Needless to say, in what is undoubtedly a tragic situation, the Department is committed to settling compensation for those who will receive it as soon as possible, as well as offering counselling and support, and financing research into the causes and nature of this condition.