In the early 1980’s, AIDS emerged and quickly became an epidemic. Those responsible for public safety failed. Thousands died. A second virus, hepatitis C, infected tens of thousands more. People were kept in the dark, afraid to speak out. Ignorance, arrogance, politics and economics all lead to betrayal, to cover-up, to scandal. Unspeakable is told from the perspective of two families caught in a tragedy that gripped a nation, as well as the doctors, nurses, corporations and bureaucracy responsible. The series follows the decades long saga as people struggled to survive, change the system and battle for compensation for those who desperately needed it.
Unspeakable is based on emotionally charged personal accounts as well as Andre Picard’s Gift of Death: Confronting Canada’s Tainted Blood Tragedy, Vic Parson’s Bad Blood: The Tragedy of the Canadian Tainted Blood Scandal, and The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Canadian Blood Tragedy, led by Justice Horace Krever.
It began as a disease that was nobody’s fault and became a catastrophe. A federal inquiry led to finger pointing and sweeping changes to the blood system. Billions of dollars in reparations were paid. Criminal charges were laid. The repercussions are still being felt today. The worst part is that it was largely preventable. We cannot forget.