Risk, science and the politics of the blood scandals in Ireland, Scotland, England and Finland
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George, Taylor, & Martin, Power. (2016). Risk, Science and the Politics of the Blood Scandals in Ireland, Scotland, England and Finland. Irish Studies in International Affairs, 1-16.
This article examines the HIV/Hepatitis C disaster that engulfed those suffering from haemophilia in Ireland, Scotland, England/Wales and Finland during the 1980s and 1990s; the largest health scandal since the Thalidomide controversy. In its aftermath a succession of inquiries and tribunals focused on what government knew (about HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C), and when (the blood supply had been compromised). The origins to the blood crisis were therefore located firmly in the failure on the part of key decisionmakers to manage adequately the risk from HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. This article is concerned with an altogether different task; it offers an explanation of why the crisis emerged. Put simply, it was not about how the risk was managed, but assessed. After a sustained period of regulatory reform, and the New Right s determination to reduce the role of state intervention, a reconfiguration of risk in politics anticipated that decisions were no longer refracted exclusively through the institutions of government, for they now involved multinational private actors, according far more emphasis to the decision of the market.