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U.K.: Justice for Asbestos Disease Victims Requires Mesothelioma Research Funding

The U.K. recognizes that society’s obligation and moral responsibility to remedy the tragic legacy of decades of asbestos use requires funding research to develop effective medical treatments. Will the United States follow?

(PRWEB) March 5, 2010 -- The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation today publicly praised the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Justice for its progressive and constructive new position on asbestos disease.

Last week, the U.K.’s Minister of Justice, Jack Straw, announced that, along with the vast legal aspects of the asbestos cancer, mesothelioma, the government has an obligation to also address its medical aspects. With this announcement, the U.K. recognizes that the industrial legacy of asbestos, from which all of society has benefited, creates an obligation on the part of society and the government to help those who now bear the burden -- suffering and loss of life from asbestos-caused disease.

Therefore the U.K. government has committed to support a “National Centre for Asbestos-Related Disease, a collaborative network of funded researchers whose core purpose would be to advance medical research into the prevention, cure and alleviation of asbestos-related disease and primarily mesothelioma.”

Not only would development of effective mesothelioma treatments serve justice, it would also significantly reduce the costs of litigation, death and disability benefits, and healthcare. Recognizing this, the U.K. insurance industry has also pledged £3 million towards the National Centre for Asbestos-Related Disease.

“This is exactly what the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has been urging in the United States the past ten years,” says Christopher Hahn, the Foundation’s executive director. “Mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases are a fundamental problem of social justice. And a just solution to that problem requires medical research to develop effective treatments to end the suffering and save lives. It is encouraging to see that the U.K. is getting it; we hope the U.S. will catch up soon.”

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen or heart caused by asbestos. Medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive of all cancers. For decades it was regarded as untreatable, deadly and hopeless; and so, in a sad, self-fulfilling prophecy, the need for research to develop effective treatments was mostly ignored. For the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and today’s patients, their families, and the millions of Americans who in the last five decades have been exposed to asbestos and are at risk for the cancer, this is unacceptable. The Foundation believes in a cure for mesothelioma, and is committed to funding the research critically-needed to understand and improve treatment of it.

In addition, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation provides patients and families with the most up-to-date information on mesothelioma treatments, clinical trials and medical referrals. The Foundation hosts the annual International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, which unites doctors, researchers, patients and families, legal advocates, interested pharmaceutical companies, union representatives and other concerned individuals to share information and advance meso research. The Foundation also leads the effort in Washington, D.C. to gain federal investment in mesothelioma research funding and to ban the further use of asbestos. For more information visit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation’s website at


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