The Redfern Inquiry

HC 571-I/II - Volume I: Report and Volume 2: Summary

House of Commons - Michael Redfern QC
TSO (The Stationery Office)
Price: £77.00

'The Redfern Inquiry (HC 571)' sets out the findings of an independent investigation into the analysis of human tissue by UK Nuclear Organisations and the way in which this analysis was conducted.

The purpose of this independent inquiry was to ascertain whether or not the investigative research conducted by the UK Nuclear Organisations was carried out in accordance with correct and proper procedures and whether the data obtained was used appropriately and with consent.

Between 1955 and 1992 organs were removed at post mortem examinations of nuclear workers and subjected to radiochemical analysis at various nuclear laboratory facilities. Evidence and assistance was received from stakeholders to discover the extent of the practice of organ removal.

The Inquiry directed particular attention towards coronial and pathology practice, the number of deceased persons involved, the extent of organ removal and what was done with those organs that had been removed, the uses to which the resulting data were put, issues of knowledge and consent and the role of management.

The Inquiry concludes that, in many cases, the families had been wronged. Organs were removed at post mortem and provided for analysis despite being of no possible relevance to the cause of death. The results of radiochemical analysis were seldom taken into account when the death was certified: they were important not for the coronial investigation but primarily for research.

The blame lies mainly at the door of the pathologists who performed the post mortems. They were ignorant of the law and had not satisfied themselves that the relatives' consent had been obtained. In coronial cases, proper supervision would have prevented the abuse.

Individual chapters examine:

  • British Nuclear Fuels Ltd: the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority;

  • the trade unions and the compensation scheme;

  • the National Radiological Protection Board;

  • the Atomic Weapons Establishment;

  • registries;

  • strontium and the Medical Research Council;

  • West Cumberland Hospital; and

  • the families.

Extent 693 pages ISBN 9780102966183
Size A4 Price £77.00
Format Paperback Published 16 Nov 2010
Availability Out of Print: but may be available to order Availability help (opens in new window) Delivery Delivery options and charges

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