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Vegetarian dies from vCJD

The family of a young vegetarian who died from the human form of 'mad cow disease' are demanding to know why his condition went undiagnosed for nearly 12 months.

Jorawar Gill, 20, from Warwickshire, passed away earlier this month after battling variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) for two-and-a-half years.

It is thought he may have contracted the disease from gelatine.

Jorawar's family say doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham failed to diagnose the condition for a year before specialists in London confirmed it was vCJD.

Speaking at the family home, Jorawar's brother Jodhbir, 23, said the family wanted to know why the disease went undetected for a year, while specialists at St Mary's Hospital in London confirmed it within a month of carrying out tests.

"We, as a family, feel as though he has been killed," Jodhbir, a tax consultant, said.

"We feel we should never have lost him. We will be pursuing this issue with the hospital.

"Right up until he died we honestly believed he would get better. We are a family of Sikhs and have a strong faith so we prayed for him constantly.

Jorawar had attended school in nearby Coleshill and achieved 10 grade A GCSEs.

Shortly after his 18th birthday in October 2000, his health rapidly deteriorated and he was forced to give up his A-level studies in economics, maths and history.

Jodhbir said his brother had wanted to study history at Leeds University and eventually become a professor of the subject.

"He was very strong. The doctors and nurses did not think he would survive as long as he did. They all thought he would last until August last year, but he was still here in April.

Jorawar's sister Gurpreet, 18, added: "He was very brave, always very cheerful throughout. He never complained or gave up. My mum and dad deserve so much praise for caring for him."

A spokesman for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital said: "We wish to express our condolences to the family.

"It is very sad when someone so young dies like this.

"The consultant who dealt with the case has written to the family to express his personal sadness and he is happy to meet with them to discuss any concerns they may have about Jorawar's treatment.

"When he first came to the hospital, his symptoms were not typical of those associated with vCJD and we wished to explore every possibility of what his illness was.

"We referred him to London because they have more expertise at identifying the disease."
 

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Someone who eats gelatin is not a vegetarian. Although I must admit that if I need a medicine, and it is in a gelatin capsule, I take my medicine by swallowing the capsule. A capsule is, of course, just a little dab of gelatin, rather than a "portion" of gelatin. Then again, the prions that cause mad cow disease are even smaller. But you probably need to ingest a certain number of them, before they overwhelm your immune system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a suspicion, [totally unscientific etc etc,] that the prions are carried in milk. There is great fear in this part of the UK that they get into the water table via the local rendering plant tipping factory waste liquid onto surrounding fields, woods and previously down a disused well.

Sometimes I have medicine with traces of gelatine in it, also sometimes traces of lactose. This is something I would prefer not to have but not enough so as to make a huge fuss and or expense over.
 

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vCJD has very unclear symptoms and the incubation can be more than then years.

There is no treatment for it.

They should have informed the parents better.
 

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Dr. Virgil M. Hulse has a great book, Mad Cows and Milkgate. I'd reccomend reading it, it made me concerned about the transmission of some really nasty things through dairy. I wish I'd gone vegan earlier ( it's been 4 years ).
 

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BSE is pretty much one of the problems that has been gained through intensive meat farming. As I heard, it's from feeding dead cows to other cows.

And BSE was the whole reason the snowball that is vegetarianism got rolling for me. But to be quite honest, if people didn't love meat so much, we wouldn't have this problem. I know it's clichéd and may sound stupid to a few people, but no one will acknowledge the proper solution to the BSE crisis, which is to stop eating beef, because it's not percieved to be too big a threat, and because society can't just go without beef, which is very sad.

There have been a few scares over meat in Britain over the last ten years. The BSE crisis made a whole lot of people (myself included) stop eating beef. British livestock farmers were extremely pissed off at that. And then foot and mouth disease kicked in. The thing is that these diseases are the result of intensive rearing of animals. It's not comfortable watching the piles of carcasses burn on the television, especially when you see them as living beings rather than as products or food.

I gave p beef. I might get CJD when i'm older, because i have consumed beef. Albeit not intentionally within the last six years but I have. i still do consume milk, although this is one thing that I would like to reduce or eliminate in the future. But these complications have a simple solution, and we all know what it is. Except it's not that simple.

And as Linda McCartney said in the introduction to one of her cookbooks, she said "With the alarming increase in cases of BSE and CJD, eating meat has become a risky business." I agree wholeheartedly. i'm no health freak, but I'm not interested in clogging my arteries either.

So I may sound like a huge PETA-freak blaming the love of meat on disease, but in the case of BSE, one of the ways in which we used animals was to blame. (In England, cow-cannibalism is now illegal for obvious reasons - To reassure the public that their meat is safe, so they can go back to enjoying the traditional roast beef with potatoes, whether the changes have been good enough or not.)
 

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Imho BSE is the result of greed.

They ( the average consumer) wants cheap meat, and farmers want as much profit as can be. That's why they started to feed "waste" meat to cows.

It is believed that meat from sheep brought BSE to cows.

All in the name of profit......
 

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I agree with that as well 1vegan. i'm no raving commie-pinko-liberal-hippie-with-tendencies-to-have-a-sit-in but I relaly think that the capitalist nature of our society does mean that stuff like this happens.
 

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gelatin is easy to accidentally eat... and if you accidentally eat it doesn't mean you're no longer a vegetarian. I had no idea that hot cross buns were gelatinous!
 
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