Is Dupuytren disease work related? If so, how should workers be compensated? This issue has been discussed since the 1800s along with legal and financial implications. This article is an example: http://www.thenational.scot/news/dwp-accused-of-denying-industrial-benefits-to-workers.15966.
It’s not a simple issue. The major risk for developing Dupuytren disease is believed to be genetic. Trauma and exposure to high manual stresses are also thought to play a significant role, but less so than genes. Without a biomarker, it’s impossible to separate the relative effect of each.
Beyond this, there is the legal argument of apportionment. Assume that it is decided that work contributed 15% to an individual’s need for treatment. How should that be handled? What if it’s decided that the person would very likely develop the disease, but did so 5 years earlier than expected because of work activities? What about the worker who also does heavy manual activities away from work?
Ultimately, these issues are more legal than medical. The laws of man can be changed, but not the laws of nature. While lawyers and politicians continue to argue over their laws, Dupuytren Foundation research continues toward the goal of identifying the nature and possible cure of Dupuytren disease. If you haven’t yet signed up as a Dupuytren patient, now would be a good time: http://DupStudy.com.
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