View Full Version : CJD's Legal Implications and a CJD Related Website: [NET-LAWYERS]Legal Cases Involving Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

David P. Dillard
07-15-1998, 11:33 PM
Subject: CJD's Legal Implications and a CJD Related Website:
[NET-LAWYERS] Legal Cases Involving Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

The following posting is reposted to this listserv with the
permission of its author. There has been substantial discussion on this
listserv about Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease. This posting looks at the issue
from a different perspective and lists a website that may be helpful to
individuals who need more information about the disease. I hope the
listserv readers will find this information useful

David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 - 4584

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 10:26:26 EDT
From: Deborah Oney
Reply-To: Lawyers and the Internet
Subject: [NET-LAWYERS] Legal Cases Involving Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

If you have a legal case involving Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), the
horrendous infectious fatal brain-deteriorating disease, a good place to start
your search for information on the disease is the:

CJD Voice

There is basic information on CJD there, links to other sites with CJD
information and a CJD information webring.

Is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease a ripe area for lawsuits by people directly
affected by the disease? There has already been a lawsuit filed by a couple
who live in Florida who were nothified that their InVitro Fertilization
culture included human albumin, a blood product, that was withdrawn by the
manufacturer due to a member of the donor pool dying of Creutzfeldt-Jakob
Disease (CJD), the horrrendous infectious fatal brain-deteriorating disease.
The woman, who did not become pregnant, has to live under the constant fear,
minute as it may be, that she may develop CJD as a result. There is no
preclinical test for the disease and no treatment or cure at the present time.
This couple received just one of thousands of such notices. Will other people
also decide to sue?

Like InVitro Fertilization cultures, many vaccines, such as the measles-mumps-
rubella, allergy and rabies vaccines, and many medical tests contain human
albumin, a blood product. If the patient is not told there is human albumin
in the vaccine and therefore not told of the possibility of the potential,
though theoretical, risk of CJD, is it really informed consent? After all,
how can the patient or the patient's parent weigh the risks and benefits
without being told of such a risk? If the patient, or the patient's guardian,
finds out at some future time there was human albumin in the vaccine or
medicat test and as a result has psychiatric problems as a result of the worry
caused by the fear of the potential risk of CJD transmission by blood
products, will a lawsuit be brought?

A few weeks ago FAP (AP France) carried an article about six people in the
United Kingdom who fear they may develop CJD because they were treated with
human pituitary growth hormones for short stature as children. The treatment
puts them at high risk for CJD. They won substantial damages from the UK
government because of psychiatric problems they suffer as a result of being
told that they may be incubating the Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease agent. Will
people who took human pituitary growth hormone shots in other countries such
as the United States also decide to sue? Will people who received other
medical treatments such as dura mater brain grafts which puts them at high
risk for CJD sue?

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