A woman whose GP husband was killed by a cancer caused by asbestos in a hospital in which he trained has said she has no intention of suing the NHS.
Gillian Chapman, 73, said she disapproves of the so-called compensation culture of contemporary society.
Her husband John, 82, died from mesothelioma, a rare lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. He caught the disease 50 years ago when he was being trained in a hospital built using asbestos.
The NHS awarded £1.15m compensation to the family of a surgeon killed by asbestos-related cancer from the same hospital.
Ms Chapman, who used to be an office worker, said she had been raised “in an old-fashioned way”, and led a simple life. She insisted that she will not be claiming for any compensation from the health service.
“I just think my husband would not have wanted it, and it is not my way of life. I don’t approve of those people who go around chasing ambulances trying to find someone to sue. I think the country is in a bad enough state as it is without people knocking it even more,” she said.
Copyright © Press Association 2010
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“Mesothelioma is a vile cancer. It usually affects working (class) men who were exposed to asbestos in their early working lives. The Greeks were the first to recognise asbestos’ harmful biological effects. Greek geographer, Strabo, noted that many slaves who ‘wore the asbestos’ (covered in dust) suffered from some sickness in the lungs. By 1931, the danger of asbestos was so apparent that the government passed asbestos regulations directing that there should be no asbestos dust in
the workplace. By 1935, the link between lung cancer and asbestos was clearly recognised. In 1969, the government introduced new regulations fixing what were then called ‘safe dust levels’. As we know, in 1985 the Asbestos (Prohibitions) Regulations, the Asbestos Licensing Regulations and the Asbestos Products Safety Regulations all came into effect. The bosses and the government knew – the workers did not! Does nobody understand? There are thousands of recorded cases of deaths from mesothelioma. There is only ONE known cause: ASBESTOS. No one recovers. No one can be treated. Every single person dies an agonising death. This is not someone tripping over a paving slab, it is as close as you can get to murder!” – Mrs Suzanne Marlborough, Somerset
“Whilst litigation does not bring back a loved one, litigation is also very stressful. If it were me I would seek compensation and donate the funds to charity if I didn’t wish to keep them. I do not agree with ambulance chasing, but this is a legitimate case and compensation is appropriate” – S Wold, NW England
“Good for you! I would do the same. We appear to be raising a generation who are always looking to blame someone for something AND get paid for it! Many things need to change and indeed have, but hitting pockets should be a last resort” – Sheila Roberts, Telford