Test case: MOD forced to accept GWS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Times Online November 01, 2005
    MoD facing 2,000 Gulf War Syndrome payouts
    BY Simon Freeman


    The Ministry of Defence was today facing the prospect of paying pensions to 2,000 former soldiers after a court ruling which, for the first time, recognised Gulf War Syndrome as a legitimate illness.

    In a test case, former Trooper Daniel Martin, 35, of the Life Guards, yesterday forced the MoD to accept Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) as an acceptable umbrella term for a host of post-conflict ailments.

    The decision, given in a judgement by the Pensions Appeal Tribunal, could open the way for around 2,000 former soldiers to lodge similar claims for war pensions. Until now the disparate array of symptoms - depression, joint pain, asthma, memory loss and chronic fatigue - have not been recognised as a single condition. Financial support has been given instead on the basis of these individual symptoms.

    The MoD today insisted today that the ruling did not define GWS as a "discrete pathological entity" - that is, as an illness in its own right - but said that it was considering the findings. "It is important that we are responsible and examine the ruling very thoroughly because of the implications it may have," said a spokeswoman.

    Lord Morris of Manchester said that the ruling marked a turning point in a campaign he has led since 1991 for proper recognition for the veterans.

    The Labour peer said: "This landmark judgment will hearten the thousands of Gulf War veterans now in broken health, who still have undiagnosed illnesses.

    "Their persistence in calling for a total review of MoD policy towards Gulf War illnesses is fully vindicated.

    "There must now be no more bureaucratic wriggling or delay of any kind in granting just treatment for the veterans and bereaved families alike."

    The National Gulf Veterans and Families Association says of the 7,500 veterans who have made a claim for a disablement pension, 1,500 have claimed GWS, and only two cases have so far been heard.

    Mr Martin, who is suffering from asthma, anxiety and memory loss, said he was relieved at the ruling: "I am quite pleased, and I feel vindicated and very pleased for the good it might do to other servicemen."I made my first application in 2001, so it will be five years in January. I don’t know what to feel, really. It has been awful."I have had to see so many doctors and been knocked down so many times by the MoD and Veterans Agency, I feel pleased now that a court of law looked at all the evidence and came up with the conclusion I have known all along."

    The veterans have blamed the illnesses on the cocktail of vaccines that they were given for protection against chemical and biological warfare in the Gulf in 1991. They also suspected that the organophosphate pesticides used to spray their tents to kill desert bugs may have contributed.

    The tribunal was critical of the MoD's previous refusal to accept the existence of the syndrome. The panel, which included a consultant psychiatrist and physician, said: "Fourteen years after the end of the Gulf War, the Veterans Agency (part of the MoD) has conceded the validity of the label GWS."In that time many applications for such a condition were rejected, there have been numerous and expensive court cases and there are at present a number of ex-servicemen awaiting the result of this hearing.

    "It is not for this tribunal to ascertain why such a late concession was made, but the kindest comment that can be made is that the lateness of this concession was unfortunate."
  2. Christinawensell

    Christinawensell New Member

    my friend,2painful4words,

    I did not know of this about your son. I am thankful he came back alive.

    I can't imagine what he had went through and continue to go through.

    I will say a prayer for him.

    Blessings,

    Christina


  3. RENA0909

    RENA0909 New Member

    Hi Tansy
    It is about time our government recognised gulf war syndrome!
    Those soldiers went out to fight for this country and the way they have been treated is a disgrace.Why would big strong men say they are so ill??Soldiers act brave even if they are not after all the tough training they go through so I hope they all get the compensation they deserve after all these years.Giving them all those injections and subjecting them to all those chemicals would be bad for anyone....even the flu jab causes illness in people....so it is great that they are being believed at long last!

    Rena
  4. PepperGirl52

    PepperGirl52 New Member

    That is just heart-wrenching! I am so sorry your son and your family had to go through that. And will always be effected by it....Oh, God, how horrible are the wars we have had to face in the history of our country.

    I wish I could just do something special for every man and woman who has put their lives and health on the line for us!! Thank you for sharing your story. God bless your son-I'm glad he's able to function and move through this horrendous ordeal. PG