白老鼠上法院:從兩例工業污染訴訟案談起

Author Info
Paul Jobin (通訊作者)
曾育慧
法國現代中國研究中心台北分部主任
國立台灣大學健康政策與管理研究所博士班

中文摘要

      在RCA案中,上千名以女性為主、罹患各種癌症的前RCA員工,委託法律扶助基金會(法扶)提告。被告以流行病學研究未發現顯著因果關係拒絕賠償。目前公衛專家僅能證明暴露提高罹患乳癌的機率。在台南,遭受中石化安順廠戴奧辛污染的居民亦由法扶協助展開訴訟。與RCA稍有不同,中石化和公部門在初期否認後,承認舊場址為污染來源。台南市政府的調查僅發現較高的糖尿病盛行,其它如癌症與生殖系統等疾病則可能因多重暴露被低估。

  兩案均突顯流行病學在保障公眾健康與污染監測雙重任務中的侷限。原告表達自己淪為「白老鼠」,以其為主體的研究並未回饋給居民,任憑其健康持續惡化卻得不到補償與照護,他們擔心等到流行病學證明出污染與疾病有顯著相關之前,將眼睜睜地看著更多人發病、甚至死亡。法扶因而必須跟時間賽跑,試圖突破動物實驗與流行病學的障礙,將未定論的研究結果轉換成司法判決,除了對污染損害做事後承認與賠償外,亦催化具預警精神的工業危害預防政策。

Abstract

    In Northern Taiwan, the former electronics plants of RCA have brought serious occupational and environmental damage.  Over one thousand workers suffer from a variety of cancers.  As they believe that these cancers were provoked by on-the-job exposure to organic solvents and polluted tap water, a group of 450 of them have sued the company with the support of the Legal Aid Foundation.  In Southern Taiwan, the same foundation supports a group of residents of the Anshun area, where extremely high concentrations of dioxin have been found around a former chemical plant.  Neighbors of the plant have experienced particularly high levels of diabetes.  Dissatisfied with the relief payments and concerned about future health problems, notably a rise in cancer incidence, two hundred residents have launched a lawsuit against the company, the city and the state.

    In both cases, the numerous studies conducted have left the plaintiffs feeling like guinea pigs used for the purposes of science, while they receive little or no return in terms of medical care or other compensation.  They fear that, given the delays caused by wait-and-see politics, lengthy procedural battles, and the never-ending medical controversies before the court, they will have to witness more deaths within their group before any resolution may be found.  Their lawyers are thus racing against the clock in an effort to turn insufficient data and inconclusive results into positive judicial decisions.

Citation: 
《科技、醫療與社會》,第12期,2011年4月出版