This document contains the following information: The Redfern Inquiry into human tissue analysis in UK nuclear facilities - Volume 2: Summary
Between 1955 and 1992 organs were removed at post mortem examinations of nuclear workers and subjected to radiochemical analysis at various nuclear laboratory facilities. 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; the families. Evidence and assistance was received from all these 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.
This paper was laid before Parliament in response to a legislative requirement or as a Return to an Address and was ordered to be printed by the House of Commons.