The Mesothelioma Bill

A bill introduced in the Australia's Victorian Parliament called the "Asbestos Diseases Compensation Bill" will be able to track the rapid progress of the asbestos victims who get “Mesothelioma”, an incurable form of cancer that is almost always caused exposure to asbestos. This will allow a victim's loved ones to claim and obtain compensation if the victim passes before the claim is finalised. Approximately 600 victims are affected by Mesothelioma, all of them being previously exposure to asbestos.

The Mesothelioma disease causes malignant cells to develop in the mesothelium after exposure to asbestos. The mesothelium is a single layer of flattened squamous like epithelial cells that forms the lining of several body cavities such the pleura (thoracal cavity), peritoneum (abdominal cavity including the mesentery), tunica vaginalis and pericardium (a heart sac surrounding the heart). The role of the mesothelium is to transport and allow movement of fluids, allow the clearance of fibrin (a blood clotting protein) and to act in immune functions. Under malignancy, cells of the mesothelium become mutated and divide uncontrollably. These cancerous mesothelium cells can then invade (metastasize) other organs.

Mesothelial cells grown in a petri dish
Mesothelial cells grown in a petri dish

A “Mesothelioma bill” has been apposed in the USA by insurers and companies who are facing cases and claims against them to provide financial support and aid to mesothelioma victims and their relatives. Victims and their supporters are asking for a bill that will allow the formation of a “Mesothelioma trust fund” paid by companies and insurers. According to some news papers, some senators in the US congress are blocking such a move as they feel that the fund will not provide complete financial help to all asbestos victims. Secondly they say that the bill will protect the companies and from lawsuits. However it can also be argued that this will prevent lawyers from approaching victims like hawks and trying to steal a deal. Some lawyers have become millionaires from such deals preying on innocent victims and claming their pound of flesh.

It’s time such a Mesothelioma bill was introduced in the USA paving way for mesothelioma victims and their relatives.

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