MoD: pay first, prove later Find causes of syndrome first : LETTER

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The Independent Online
I WAS diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) five years ago. It is a disease with no known cause, treatment or cure, and manifests itself in multifarious symptoms, some of which appear similar to those suffered by people with "Gulf War syndrome" ("Something nasty in the Gulf?", Sunday Review, 12 February). They include severe fatigue, diarrhoea, short-term memory loss, loss of or impaired sight, and severe headaches.

It seems to me that these people have undergone some sort of damage to their central nervous system which could manifest itself virtually anywhere in the body. Because of this, I would not expect the Ministry of Defence to admit any form of responsibility. It will demand absolute scientific proof to show that peoples' experiences in the Gulf directly caused the illness. Such proof is unobtainable. Despite many millions spent on research into MS, there is no known cause.

The Government must commit the resources necessary to find the causes, treatments, and, hopefully, cure for the condition. It must then pay a suitable level of compensation. It must not demand absolute, unquestionable proof first.

Alan Martin