Living With Mesothelioma -My diary- The Saatchi Bill has been represented to the House Of Commons today — Innovation must happen.

We have had a quieter day today as I pottered around the garden tidying up I was lost in thought of what the future now holds for me. A new pathway means a new fight and new drugs mean a wobbly mind for me.

I do stay very positive though and I know that will carry me through. Each weed I pulled up made my mind clearer and by the time I had got around most of the garden I was a happy Bunny again

Ray came out and did a lot of cutting hedges for me and we swept up and felt very clever with the garden looking tidy again.

I just have a small bit in the front garden to finish tomorrow.

After lunch we went round to Louis favourite park and he chased the ball.










Rays Blog

Lord Saatchi has had a great day in the House of Commons as he presented his amended Bill. Im so proud of him and all his helpers that have worked so hard to get the Bill pass.

One patient can change the world: Lord Saatchi (with his wife Josephine Hart) says that the law stifles innovation in treatment

Doctors could be given legal protection to try out novel treatments for patients who have little chance of survival using standard medicines after a bill brought by Lord Saatchi passed its first parliamentary hurdle today.

The revised bill aims to clarify the differences between ”responsible innovation” and ”reckless experimentation” and will now proceed to a second reading in the House of Lords.

Lord Saatchi, the peer and advertising magnate, developed the bill which protects doctors who try out innovative new techniques or drugs on patients when all else has failed after he lost his wife to a form of ovarian cancer.

The legislation was endorsed in principle last year by Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary and is designed to remove the risk that doctors departing from established medical practice could be sued for negligence.

However it has provoked fierce disagreement among doctors, lawyers and patients, with some medical professionals branding the original version a “quack’s charter”.

Lord Saatchi has said he had “listened” to criticisms and the revised bill stressed that doctors should be protected from litigation as long as they acted in the best interests of their patients.

Any experimental procedures would be approved in advance by a multidisciplinary team of specialists and a “responsible officer”, it stipulates.

So far, more than 18,000 people, including patients, doctors, researchers, scientists and charities have expressed support for the bill in an online petition organised by Lord Saatchi.

Presently, a doctor who has tried out a new approach can be taken to court and must pass the ‘Bolam Test’ in which other specialists must defend the procedure.

Under the new bill, a body of medical experts would decide before the treatment so that the doctor was not left wondering if he or she might appear in court.

Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS medical director, has been asked by the health secretary to decide how this would work in practice. He is due to report back this week.

Lord Saatchi’s wife, the novelist Josephine Hart, died aged 69 in 2011. Lord Saatchi said after her death that he was left furious by the lack of treatment available.

Following the death of his wife, Josephine Hart, in June 2011 Lord Saatchi admitted he had thought of suicide “continuously” and said he visited her tomb each morning to have breakfast with her.

Last year Lord Saatchi said 15,000 people die every year because of cancer treatments rather than the illness itself.

He said he had been told by senior medical professionals that an estimated one in 10 people are killed by their cancer treatment.

Cancer drugs and radiotherapy weaken the immune system, leaving patients vulnerable to potentially fatal infections.

ww2_children_play_gas_masks (1)








A timely reminder about the dangers in Gas Masks as they will play a part in the
Gas Masks, D-Day and the Asbestos Hazard

by Laurie Kazan-Allen

Everyone will have an opinion on how chronological landmarks for the two World Wars should be marked. This Friday (June 6, 2014), Queen Elizabeth will be joining French President François Hollande in Normandy to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Shortly afterwards, the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I will take place (July 28, 2014). Public events, exhibitions, conferences, TV programs, concerts and other activities are being planned to mark that and other WW1 events over the coming years.

In the UK, many schools will be running themed projects and lessons to tie in with these anniversaries. As this generation of schoolchildren is so far removed from the actual events which took place, attempts will be made to visualize the impact the wars had on everyday life, including that of the country’s children. The use of historical artefacts, such as ration books, is a popular way to help students understand the wartime reality. Two of the most iconic of wartime memorabilia are World War 1 steel (Brodie) helmets and World War II gas masks.1

Last month (May, 2014) the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), provided definitive advice to the three Education Departments in Great Britain on “Gas Masks and Asbestos” which warned that:A google search this morning revealed that such items can easily and cheaply be obtained from UK suppliers. Unlike Australia, which banned gas masks with asbestos breathing devices in 1993, there is no such specific UK legislation, although the sale, supply or use asbestos-contaminated products is prohibited under The Asbestos (Prohibitions) (Amendment) Regulations 1999.2 For this reason attempts have been made by UK campaigners, led by the Asbestos in Schools Group and the Joint Union Asbestos Committee, to obtain categorical statements from the authorities warning of the asbestos hazard in such items.

“no gas masks should be worn or handled by children or teachers… [unless] clearly certified as safe to do so… the majority of the British Army (‘Brodie’) helmets… issued during the First World War, contain chrysotile (white) asbestos in the helmet liner… it is not appropriate for children or teachers to wear or handle any artefacts that potentially contain asbestos”3

It is surprising that it took the HSE so long to act. Letters, reports and guidance issued on this subject in the 1980s by the Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down were unambiguous as was advice provided by the Imperial War Museum some while later:

Letter from the Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down December 7, 1984 (see: Porton Down Letters 1984-2013, pages 4-5): “gas masks issued to the civilian population during WWII contained asbestos… The asbestos was of the blue [crocidolite] variety… Asbestos is likely to be present in the canisters of not only the WWII civilian masks but in any older UK gas mask and in many foreign masks… Gas masks or their canisters should not be given to children as toys…”

Report by the Chemical Defence Establishment, October 1989: Asbestos in World War II Respirator Canisters – “The majority of British Service and Civilian respirator canisters manufactured just before and during the early years of World War II contained a particulate filter consisting of carded wool and asbestos in the proportion of about 80% wool to 20% asbestos…” The report estimates that of the 97 million WWII General Civilian Respirators produced before 1939, 40 million (43%) were made with asbestos. At the beginning of the war, General Service Respirators contained a particulate filter composed of 80% merino wool and 20% blue asbestos; it is believed 5 million were made. Production on the Small Child’s Respirator, known as the “Mickey Mouse,” began in February 1939; the standard particulate filter contained asbestos.

Guidance from the Imperial War Museum December 7, 2004: “Most British gas masks of WW2 vintage have asbestos (blue and/or white) as a component in their filters.”

It is not only vintage British gas masks that could be hazardous when handled by current populations according to the Porton Down scientists:

“During World War II the Military Intelligence branch of the War office issued reports on the chemical warfare equipment developed by the Germans (14), Japanese (15) and Italians (16). These reports indicate that with the exception of the Italians, who used resin-impregnated wool and viscose rayon as a particulate filter the use of asbestos-wool was common in WWII respirator canisters. Asbestos-wool was used in Soviet respirators in WWII and is still used.”

U.S. WWII gas masks were also made with asbestos and as asbestos remains legal in the United States, it is possible that the sale, supply and use of these hazardous items may pose a serious risk to people engaged in projects related to the upcoming anniversaries.

June 4, 2014



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