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Thursday, 29 May 1997
Page: 3997

Senator HARRADINE —I ask a question of the minister representing the Minister for Health and Family Services. Has the minister been made aware of the fact that, in order for a person to be definitely determined to have had CJD, that person needs a brain biopsy? Is it not a fact that a brain biopsy cannot take place until after a person is dead? What then is the government's compensation program all about, if it can only be claimed after a person is dead? Is it a fact that tomorrow is the last day on which persons can accept the `offer' of the government? Could the government now extend that and have regard to the fact that only in the last two days it has it been revealed that the human pituitary gland treatment in certain batches contained hepatitis B?

Senator NEWMAN —I am sorry that I do not have a brief from the Minister for Health on that matter, although of course I am very much aware of the concerns of people and families of those suffering from this dreadful disease. I will get that information from the minister for you as fast as I can.