British Nuclear Test Veterans Case – Bye Bye Hiroshima victims control group!
Day 9 cross examination of Dr Haylock, UKHPA (National Radiological Protection Board) witness for the Secretary of State for Defence. Royal Courts of Justice, 23rd June 2016
Pages 36 37 38 AND 39
(DR BUSBY) Q: Okay, well, in that case let’s just go to SB7/113. This is the last question.
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: Yes. This is the mortality experience of A bomb survivors?
DR BUSBY: That’s correct, my Lord. This is the 1973 annual report from the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission.
(DR HAYLOCK) A. I have it.
Q. Can I take you to page 6 of that report?
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: Right.
DR BUSBY: Now this report is interesting because it was one of the first reports that said what it’s saying —
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: Which paragraph do you want to take us to?
DR BUSBY: We’re looking at “comparison group”.
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: Do you see that, about in the middle ofthe page?
A. I have it.
DR BUSBY: It says: “In order to ascertain the effects of radiation exposure, it is necessary to compare the mortality experience of a population exposed to ionising radiation with a comparison or control population.” Would you agree with that as a sort of general epidemiological statement?
A. It’s one way. I don’t believe it’s the only way or even the best way.
Q. Right: “For this purpose a group of people who were not present in the cities was included in the sample.” Would that have seemed a reasonable thing to do?
A. It depends what question you want to answer.
Q. I think the question — you know the question they want to answer. Perhaps you could tell us the question they want to answer?
18 A. Well, if you are saying if you want to compare that group with the group who were exposed to the bombs and compare their health, then —
Q. I asked you what the question was that they wanted to answer.
23 MR JUSTICE BLAKE: Well —
DR BUSBY: Could you answer that question?
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: Well, do you know what question was being posed by the authors of this study? And therefore I think you are then being asked as to whether what they said they were doing by way of a comparison group was an appropriate —
A. I think they are trying to compare and see if the health of the people who were exposed to the bombs is significantly worse than that of the group that wasn’t in the city at the time of the bomb.
DR BUSBY: Well, could you agree —
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: If that’s the purpose, then is what they have done — I think you are being asked to comment upon the methodology.
13 A. I believe there was an issue with this in that when it was looked at the not in city group —
DR BUSBY: We haven’t got a lot of time.
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: Sorry, what’s the question? Ask the question.
DR BUSBY: I have asked him the question, my Lord.
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: Do it again because I don’t think —
DR BUSBY: What was the purpose of this study?
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: Well, he has told you the answer.
DR BUSBY: In that case we can move on.
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: Right.
DR BUSBY: We are going to go to the bottom of this page now.
MR JUSTICE BLAKE: Low mortality?
DR BUSBY: It says: “The low mortality for the not in city group would have the effect of exaggerating the difference in mortality between the heavily exposed population and the control group.”
Q. This is what they are saying. I ask you to accept that that’s what they are saying, really, because we are going to go on to the killer point over the page.
A. I agree that’s the point they wanted to make.
Q. Yes, right. Can we go to the next page, 7, top of the page now?
14 A. Mm-hm.
Q. “The use of the low dose survivors as a comparison group is endorsed by the Subcommittee on Somatic Effects of the Advisory Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionising Radiations. It was felt that ‘some relatively small contaminations on the side of dosimetry is potentially less disturbing than the known large differences that mark the NIC group with respect to occupation, social class, and perhaps other factors’.” Does that seem reasonable to you?
A. It does.
Q. So can we go back to page 6 now, right at the bottom, and see what they are talking about. So going back to that last paragraph, where they say: “Although the tables include comparisons between early and late entrants and between the not in city and exposed populations, the discussions will be confined mostly to the comparison between the mortality of a low dose group and the more heavily exposed population groups.”
What does that mean?
A. As I understand it, it means that they are not using the not in city group as an appropriate comparison group but doing essentially a within comparison, where you’re looking at people who were, they think, lowly exposed at the time of the bomb versus people who are more highly exposed to see if there’s a difference in that exposure.
16 Q. Thank you. So they threw out their control group, is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 DR BUSBY: Yes. That’s all. No further questions.
Full transcript from the test veterans here;
BNTV scrooged at Christmas 2016;
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