The French government has promised to compensate thousands of cancer sufferers subjected to overdoses of radiation after a hospital error. The scandal affects nearly 5000 patients who were treated at Epinal Hospital in the Vosges over a 17 year period. Representatives of the victims met the French health minister to push their claims. Two dozen people were given twenty per cent more radiation than the recommended dose. Five of those have died.
Others were subjected to levels seven to eight per cent higher than was considered safe. One man, who hasn’t even been told which group he was in, said: “For the moment I believe I am cured. I had prostate cancer. But I am scared that the overdose has given me something else, like another cancer maybe somewhere else. I am worried.”
The compensation process is being complicated by lack of knowledge about the long-term consequences of such overdoses.