The fascinating story of the lawyer who started the ball rolling on the legal challenge against the manufacturers of Thalidomide. The challenge eventually failed but triggered off the questions and eventual ‘discovery’ of the congenital effects of Thalidomide. There is a poignant moment when the lawyer asks his wife’s doctor a question, after the birth of his son with the effects of Thalidomide. His son was born without arms, and he asked the doctor ‘if he had ever seen anything like this before’. 

The doctor replies: ‘never’. Later a relative of the lawyer has a similarly affected son. When he also mentioned this to the same doctor, he replied: ‘it must be genetic … have another child’

Have a listen…

The Thalidomide Trial

Witness
URL: http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download-low/proto/http/vpid/p03wfgmt.mp3

On May 27th 1968, executives of Chemie-Grunenthal, the German company that made the drug thalidomide, went on trial charged with criminal negligence. Thalidomide had caused serious often fatal birth d…

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