3 Oct 2008

Agent Orange listed on death certificate

7:19 pm on 3 October 2008

Exposure to Agent Orange has been listed on a death certificate as a contributing cause of death for what is believed to be the first time.

Pat Hauwai, 65, died on 24 September, a month after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

The death certificate says Mr Hauwai died from carcinoma of the lungs, because of cigarette smoking and exposure to Agent Orange.

The Ex-Vietnam Services Association says it does not know of any other cases where the toxin has been listed on a death certificate.

National president Terry Culley says Mr Hauwai's case might encourage more doctors to list Agent Orange as a cause of death. He says compensation varies between $20,000 to $40,000.

Minister for Veteran's Affairs Rick Barker says a centre is being established to help doctors dealing with patients suffering from exposure to Agent Orange.

Mr Barker says the process is expected to take several months.