Voice of the Mirror: Bring them all to book on Gosport

This newspaper accepts that end-of-life care is complex, and a legal, moral and ethical minefield for medical staff.

We can understand that there are occasions when clinicians up the dose of painkillers out of compassion for the terminally ill with zero quality of life.

We understand. We do not condone. We do not pass judgment. This is a difficult area and every case is different.

But we unreservedly condemn using painkillers to shorten the life of a patient who would otherwise have survived.

And that is what happened at Gosport Memorial Hospital. This is not compassion. It is at best a cavalier disregard for the value of human life. At worst it is murder.

Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, and the Sunday Mirror will back them all the way in their campaign for justice.

We reveal today one of the most disturbing email trails you will ever read over a report which flagged up concerns at Gosport as long ago as 2003. Yet that report was shelved.

When it finally surfaced 10 years later, the Department of Health attempted a cover-up.

It clearly states that proper investigation of individual cases which gave cause for concern was needed. When it was finally published, the DoH planned to resist calls for a public inquiry.

It was only the courage, tenacity and sheer bloody-mindedness of the then Lib Dem care minister Norman Lamb that launched the devastating study by Bishop James Jones published last week.

Gosport relatives are now within a stone’s throw of getting justice. But civil servants who prolonged their agony should not be let off.

The culture of cover-up in Jeremy Hunt’s department must end.

We need to know that what happened at Gosport is not going on elsewhere. If officials tried to bury that scandal, how many others are they sitting on?

As the Health Secretary begins the restructuring of the NHS, he must also look at improving openness in his own department.

Because clarity, Mr Hunt, should begin at home.

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