Dr. Alan McKenna is an associate lecturer at Kent Law School and his major interests and research areas are Privacy and Data Protection, Asbestos related issues, Information and Communication Law and International Commercial Law. Focusing on the second one, at the beginning of 2014, Dr. McKenna submitted an online petition where he demanded the Secretary of State for Health (Jeremy Hunt) and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Iain Duncan Smith) to fund mesothelioma research.
His petition, that is still available to sign, is here (there are only 40 more signatures needed), and it states:
“I call on the government to use the money it is saving under the Mesothelioma Act compensation scheme for sustainable research into the asbestos related disease mesothelioma.
Why is this important?
This year around 2500 people will die in the UK from the asbestos related disease mesothelioma. The number of younger victims of mesothelioma is growing, these are victims who were exposed to asbestos at school. Globally many thousands more will die. Historically little money has been spent in the UK on research into mesothelioma, effectively writing off the lives of the victims."
Dr. Alan McKenna believes it is a national disgrace in the UK that there has been so little efforts and funding for research into finding new treatments and perhaps one day a cure for a disease that is a hideous killer.
According to Dr. Alan McKenna his campaign IS NOT calling for new money to be found by the government to fund research, the money already exists. Following the passing of the Mesothelioma Act in 2014, the government by their own independent research will save over a ten year period in excess of £50 million. Dr. Alan McKenna believes there is no justification whatsoever that this money is not used for research into mesothelioma. Dr. Alan McKenna want to give the victims of this disease real hope.