The Mesothelioma Charter
The British Lung Foundation authored the Mesothelioma Charter in 2006. The aim of the document was to provide a mesothelioma patient bill of rights while securing protections for those who have and currently work in fields where asbestos exposure can occur.
Introduced as part of the first annual Mesothelioma Action Day campaign, the 15-point charter garnered 14,000 signatures before being submitted to Downing Street lawmakers on February 27th, 2006.
Asbestos may reach epidemic levels in the UK with 2,500 people expected to die annually between 2011 and 2015. The average latency period between exposure and cancer formation is around 35 years so new cases will continue for decades to come.
English mesothelioma patients can face a number of obstacles including lack of substantial government subsidies for medications (including the recent denial of Alimta for some patients), few qualified patient support teams, and lack of guidance for treatment and end of life care.
The charter and accompanying campaign aim to bring mesothelioma to the national agenda and encourage people who may have been exposed to learn more about the condition.
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