CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB DISEASE (CJD) IS THE FIRST major challenge that the blood system has faced since the completion of the Krever inquiry in 1997. We report the results of a detailed policy analysis comparing 2 CJD-related decisions: a 1995 recall of blood from a donor with classic CJD and the 1999 decision to defer donations from individuals with a 6-month travel history to the UK between 1980 and 1996 due to concerns related to variant CJD. Overall, we observed that decision-making improved significantly from 1995 to 1999. In 1998/99 the potential threat of variant CJD was identified at an early stage, and a systematic risk assessment process was initiated. Decision-making was consultative and involved consumers. However, the perception existed that further improvement could take place in the areas of transparency of process and interaction of organizations. We observed that the presence of a second operator had an important impact on decision-making in 1998/99.

School of Journalism and Communication

Wilson, K. (K.), Hëbert, P.C. (P. C.), Laupacis, A. (A.), Dornan, C, Ricketts, M. (M.), Ahmad, N. (N.), & Graham, I. (I.). (2001). A policy analysis of major decisions relating to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and the blood supply. CMAJ (Vol. 165, pp. 59–65).