New call to put DWP/Atos on trial for manslaughter

It might seem ridiculous but the DWP and Atos are guilty of the behaviour described in this image – and much worse – leading to loss of income and stress that, for some, has been intolerable. Thousands of deaths have been recorded.

Pressure is mounting to have leading Conservative politicians tried from crimes against humanity, with the launch of a new e-petition on the government’s own website, to compliment a submission to the International Criminal Court over the summer.

The e-petition by Christopher Gare calls on the government “To Investigate the DWP and connected MPs for corporate manslaughter, in relation to the WCA & Atos Healthcare… We have seen deaths rise of people on sickness benefit from 310 in 2010 to 10,600 in nine months of 2011.”

The reasoning behind both bids is simple enough – that the so-called ‘reform’ of welfare benefits and, in particular, those related to sickness and disability, have in fact led to the deaths of more than 70 sick or disabled people every week.

These deaths have occurred as the victims have been passing through the government’s dreaded work capability assessments, as administered by the private company Atos, under instruction from the Department for Work and Pensions. The stress of the assessment process, couple with fears about the future, if benefits are removed, has been too much for many to manage and they have died. I believe the most common cause of death is heart attack, although I sit ready to be corrected.

Everybody who died had been found unfit for work by their own GPs. In order to cut their benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions must have relieved those doctors of their duty of care for those patients. That duty would have then passed to the DWP. For those disability benefit claimants to have died after the DWP took over that duty of care, it is logical to believe that the DWP was reckless about the effect its decisions would have.

The government ministers most responsible for the current system are those who were at the head of the DWP until the government reshuffle last month: Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling and Maria Miller. Therefore it seems most likely that they should be the subjects of any investigation.

… Which is exactly what disability specialist Samuel Miller told the office of the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He contacted the ICC during the summer, seeking clarification on whether austerity deaths of the sick and disabled in the UK are considered a crime against humanity by that court.

If they are, he intended to file a complaint against Messrs Smith, Grayling and Ms Miller for the “draconian welfare reforms and the resultant deaths of their society’s most vulnerable”.

If you think the DWP has caused the deaths of sick and disabled people, then follow the link and sign the petition. If you don’t, have a look around the web and read the evidence for yourself. There’s plenty available!

30 thoughts on “New call to put DWP/Atos on trial for manslaughter

  1. Roy davis

    You say this is from the dwp it is from downing street David Cameron is as guilty as any of them

    1. Mike Sivier

      A strong argument could certainly be made that David Cameron is the head of this government and its departments do his bidding; therefore, he is as guilty as anyone in the DWP.

      1. Lloyd Kennedy

        They are ” all in it together ” . QED Cameron and his cabinet are all culpable .

    2. abbey lane

      There is obviously something very sick roosting at the heart of this awful government. Since Gov ministers willfuly ignore numerous pleas from the church, doctors and others,(to cease the ATOS medical assesments) I sincerely hope the plans to sue ATOS and culpable ministers happen very soon, perhaps by calling on the EU to investigate the Human Rights laws.

  2. Andrea Ward

    Atos are making a fortune out of turning down real people in need. This is not the way to deal with false claimants.

    1. Lloyd Kennedy

      You are right in one sense about them being out of touch but that isn’t the criminal element of this issue . They are not so out of touch that they are unaware that people are dying and that is the criminal factor .

  3. Angie

    the program that ATOS is using was used in the USA by a health insurance company as a way of not paying out health insurance claims someone took the company to court and the program was discredited and banned from being use in the USA so why is a French company using a discredited program? Could someone take this government to court under the human rights act criminals do so why can the disabled not come together and do this.

  4. Eileen Magnello

    It is disgraceful & contemptible that the DWP & ATOS are pursuing a wholesale dysgenic programme of killing the most vulnerable people in society just to cut the budget. Yet the National Institute of Economic & Social Research has found that, ‘Osborne’s austerity programme has played a major part in causing Britain’s recession’. His policy has been self-defeating. Cameron who has condoned these deaths is as guilty of murder as is Iain Duncan Smith & other DWP employees. They all should be tried at the International Court.

  5. Mel brewer

    i was put on able to work in 18 months even though i have degenerative disc disease, arthritis in all my joints, depression, i walk with a stick badly and am losing the joints in my toes so every step is agony. all these problems by their nature will get worse not better so how if i am not fit for work now will i be fit for work in 18 months. ludicrous.

    1. Jane Kinnear

      Well well, tried to sign this petition but as yet I’ve received no confirmation e mail so I can’t !! ( tried signing YESTERDAY !! ) Anybody else having problems ?

  6. Mrs Greta Nicholson

    Speaking to a friend tonight she told me of a friend who has been to see ATOS & been told he is fit for work. Now he is in hospital, not the first one I have heard of.
    Totally disgusting.

  7. frankie cullen

    atos and ian duncan hitler to build death camps for the old the disabled and the working and middle classes.

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  10. teddymcnabb

    As much chance of that as Blair being charged for war crimes. Amazing all the death we have had in care homes and sheltered housing which the liblabcons are all guilty and most people don’t give a monkeys. When the liblabcons can accustomise their sheep to the annual cull of between 27000 to 33000 vulnerable elderly what hope is there!

  11. TR

    Chris has got the right idea. Well done on the petition.

    I wrote to Rethink Mental Illness to ask if they would consider contacting the police on behalf of disabled people and ask for an investigation into possible crimes being committed. My email to them is below. There is also another site talking about possible manslaughter (link below). I hope one day someone is held responsible for all these terrible unnecessary deaths, and the possible hundreds or thousands still to come.

    (my email to Rethink Mental Illness)

    To whom it may concern

    Thank you for all what you do to help people with disabilities.
    Please would your charity consider making a formal request to the police to open an investigation into serious criminal offences being possibly carried out against vulnerable disabled people. There is much evidence of this and I believe much more would come out if an investigation is initiated.

    I believe that anyone can report a crime to the police even if they are not the victim, and your charity does have special involvement in this area, such as commissioning the survey of GPs last year which I believe is a vital piece of evidence of these potential crimes.

    There are good grounds for the police to launch a criminal investigation into possible harassment and manslaughter, which is ongoing still, and has been for possibly several years. I also believe that the police have an obligation to at least start an investigation, given the serious nature of the crimes.
    The three sources of information that could be used immediately for initiating an investigation can be found online and are:

    1) The Freedom of Information request of 2012 showing that 1,100 people died between January and August 2011, after the controversial WCA test found them ‘fit for work’. When this piece of information is added to your own survey, which shows that the test is causing great distress, suicide attempts, even suicides, then there is grounds to investigate, in the public interest, whether any of these 1,100 people were also subject to this level of distress, and how may committed suicide as a result.

    2) The Rethink survey of GPs, as mentioned in my last point, shows that the WCA has been the contributing factor in the distress and even the death of many people.

    3) The British Medical Association’s call for the WCA test to be scrapped last year. Not only have the government ignored the warnings of the BMA and many other charities, organisations and other experts, but in January 2013 they made alterations to the test to make it even harder to pass and creating many more potential suicide victims. It was reckless of the government to continue using this test in the first place in the face of such evidence, but to go the other way and make the test even harder to pass is, I believe, clearly criminally negligent.

    The two criminal offences I therefore believe need to be urgently investigated are:

    a) Ongoing and previous harassment of vulnerable people who have undergone or will soon undergo the WCA Fitness For Work assessment. I use the legal definition of harassment from the Protection from Harassment Act 1997: ‘to pursue a course of action which amounts to harassment of another individual’ (harassment is defined by the Act as ‘behaviour which causes alarm or distress’ . The Rethink GP survey shows possible evidence of this and I believe more evidence can be obtained by many charities, such as CAB, who deal with many cases every day in helping prepare appeals.

    b) Gross negligent manslaughter. Again, both ongoing and previous. The government have had evidence of the potential suicides that will occur as a result of the WCA, and while they have brought in many measures, they do not seem to be making enough impact and they should have halted tests until they were safe. And last year the three pieces of evidence above, plus a call to scrap the test by many MPs and the government’s own ….. have still not made the government stop the test. In fact they have done the opposite and made the test harder to pass, introducing changes to it in January 2013. I therefore believe that this reckless endangering of lives, past and present, could constitute gross negligent manslaughter.

    I would be very grateful if Rethink will consider requesting that the police start an investigation into these potential crimes. The request would probably need to be made centrally, to the Metropolitan Police, due to the nationwide scale of the matter. I gave you my permission to feature the contents of my email in any of your campaign literature to urge people to come forward if they are able to and help the police in their investigation.

    Thank you.

    of Gross Negligence Manslaughter is as follows;
    …where the death is a result of a grossly negligent (though otherwise lawful) act or omission on the part of the defendant. The law in respect of this has been clarified to a four stage test (the Adomako Test) outlined by the House of Lords:
    a) the existence of a duty of care to the deceased;
    b) a breach of that duty of care which;
    c) causes (or significantly contributes) to the death of the victim; and
    d) the breach should be characterised as gross negligence, and therefore a crime.
    The government, the coalition, atos, Ian Duncan Smith in particular, and the labour party who introduced the new Work Capability Assessment are guilty of manslaughter. On a massive scale. Is 10,000 deaths, deliberate and premeditated on the part of the government, sufficient to call it genocide?

  12. Ian Smith

    Mike – do u have any proof of how long the training is that ATOS trainees do in order to become a Health Doctor (haha)? If so can u send me the link – thanks mate!

      1. Joseph Smith

        The lying Doctor who did my assessment told me that the trading for him.was three days.

  13. A.Burton

    I believe we should include Unum advisors to the government, they are the hidden hand that is pushing this process to redefine illness with biopsychosocial model also ( I will not name them here ) several psychiatrists who have been instrumental in this case of human rights violations.

  14. John Ohara

    I’ve had a Medical by an Atos quack, he misrepresented (lied) about my answers, failed record many of my answers, and wrote his own. I’ve challenged Atos who went into defence mode, now I’ve asked for specific answers. The doctor cannot remember my appointment but he clearly remembers how long it took. Now a formal complaint with Atos, no doubt I’ll read more obscure defensive answers. Then what? Any one know what I can do

  15. nigel passmore

    im following this story with interest but no new posts for nearly two months – what are latest developments ?

    1. Mike Sivier

      It is all moving extremely slowly, I’m afraid. My request for information on the number of deaths has gone to the Information Commissioner for adjudication, and this could take weeks. Meanwhile, efforts are being made to work out how many people have died after being signed ‘fit for work’ but these could also take many months.
      I’m sorry I can’t be more positive about this but all I can say is, it’s all going on.

  16. downing st

    can’t everyone on these benefits go to their local police station and report that they think a crime has been committed, corporate manslaughter, and get a crime number?? surely the police would have to investigate the dwp/atos? bearing in mind there are 2 and a half million people being punished by idiots/mps? they’re the scroungers leeching all the taxpayers’ money.

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