Swine flu vaccine
Poisoning attempt charges filed against French H1N1 campaign
24 October, 2009 05:17:00
In what is being seen as the first of many such actions to come, nine individuals have filed formal charges claiming that the H1N1 campaign is a deliberate attempt to poison the French population.
These charges, which were filed yesterday, could not come at a more inopportune moment for the government and health specialists. The vaccination campaign got underway last Tuesday in a climate of national skepticism as to the vaccine’s safety and efficiency, and this news will surely boost the morale of the increasing number of anti-vaccine lobbyists who are beginning to organize their resistance to any attempt to vaccinate the population against H1N1.
Nine inhabitants of the Isére region of France are cited as joint plaintiffs in the case, including a health sector worker, a teacher and a radio talk show host. They met each other at various public meetings held to denounce the vaccine’s alleged health risks.
The charges take the form of a ‘plainte contre X’ which means that the perpetrator of an alleged crime or felony is not known, or is not named, in the charge sheet. This is a commonly used manner of filing complaints in France, particularly where the charges relate to supposed government implication in alleged breaches of the law. In cases where those trials proceed after prior examination of the facts, the specific persons or organizations concerned are designated and charged as the trial proceeds.
Jean-Pierre Joseph, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, describes the vaccination campaign as “A veritable attempt to poison.” He confirmed that the charges were filed at the High Court in Grenoble before the court’s senior examining magistrate. He said other court cases involving other plaintiffs would begin soon
The various charges filed included one of “Attempting to administer substances…of a nature which could result in death.”
“The aim is to put a stop to what we consider to be an act of poisoning,” according to Joseph. “The interest of this action is that people in France now have a means by which to express their concern as citizens by saying publicly “We are aware that the vaccination campaign is a swindle.”
Similar court actions are planned in other areas of the Isére, as well as in Paris, Pau and Nantes, and several hundred vaccine opponents are beginning to organize themselves on the internet with a view to filing class action charges.
The government and health authorities are currently battling to persuade people to get vaccinated against increasingly difficult odds. Opposition to the campaign has been increasing steadily, and various polls taken over the last few days put the figure for those who do not intend to get vaccinated as high as 70 percent.
Their task is being made even more arduous by the fact that while authorities believe on the one hand that vaccination is essential despite negative public reaction, the French have traditionally proved to be very quick to condemn and file charges in cases where not enough was said to be done to prevent other medical mishaps such as the Mad Cow outbreak and an AIDS contamination case, in which several people died and many more became HIV positive after receiving AIDS-contaminated blood transfusions in hospitals.
That signifies that the authorities have very little room to maneuver and are more or less obliged to continue the campaign in order to avoid similar charges should they decide or be forced to abandon the campaign and high numbers of people die as a result of not being vaccinated.