tv Doc Film Deutsche Welle December 7, 2019 4:15pm-5:00pm CET
you're watching data news from berlin coming up next our documentary series dr phil looks at how the drug the little mite is still being used even though it caused thousands of birth defects decades ago to remember that you can follow us on twitter at state news and of course there's always a website for more news that's called i'm on you tube this mackinnon in thailand thanks so much for watching. it's all happening to children in africa. your link to news from africa the world your link to exception the stories of discussions can you and will come to their views after doing program and from foreign germany for more news it's easy to our website the deputy home smashed africa join us on facebook to w.
africa. the worst drug disaster in history would spread through more than 46 countries and produce up 220000 badly deformed babies world war. but historians today single out one birth in 1961 that changed the course of history in hamburg germany linda shoulder fillin age 23 gave birth to her 1st child her husband wasn't with her that time and he was quite a day out. and then i lay back and was relaxed and some of the somebody whispered into my ear a shotgun all right and i was white awake and i said. what's got what has happened to my baby is. anything wrong you know she said just.
let's say. without any emotion oh yeah he's just got short arms and i like a child would have asked possibly i said and i'll take knowing any more and she'd caught grow this would be marketed snow. and then i felt like i was beaten to death. a doctor gave the 1st time mother son friendly advice just get another child. like forget about him you know. poem away forget about him and shortly afterwards then his husband arrived and gave her some bad news he'd been keeping from her 6 weeks earlier his sister had given birth to a baby with similar deformities it looks alike like our child there must be something that is the same all ridgen the same difficulty the same problem in the background and we'll find it and real search and we won't stop until we've fallen
nothing was the was. how. the epidemic of deformed babies began 5 and a half years earlier on christmas day 956 with the birth of the 1st victim. in the small town of us in germany a mother had taken a new drug called full of the mind being developed by a local drug company can be grown into her husband like other grown and allen boys had taken home a sample that she gave to his pregnant wife the baby would be the 1st of 6 fully my babies possibly more born to grin and 1000 workers in the years ahead but the company ignored the early warning signals in their midst now that spirit remains old when archer grew tall didn't. uninvested i didn't talk to the mom didn't go to
the hospital didn't look at medical records didn't contact experts there were multiple of childers for grant all to come to hold last short nonna matecumbe 9 months after the 1st deformed baby was born grown and launched the linn abide on to the german market under the brand name contraband going in 1000 arrests of sales force whose motto was succeed at any cost continue to promote the drug cardigan they claimed it was a safe sedative especially for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness sales zoomed and the m i became a 2nd best selling drug next to aspirin. but linda shoulder helen and her husband carl hammond were determined to find out what caused their son's short arms months later they were no closer to finding an answer i know my husband had times when he said. i think we have to get up and i said giving up.
her husband soon contacted a professor of obstetrics dr video kinde lens who had received a few reports of deformed babies my father and professor lance they travel to germany in their old fox wagon and they went from one small village to another and asked other any children with short legs or short arms spine and those kids were hidden away at the time in the small villages and she cast in restaurants and bars and the local police officer everybody certain no not in our town and then he showed a picture of me and said this is my boy and can i please repeat my question and then they said well at the end of the road there has been a very sad incident and then he went there and bring the dawn showed 1st thing he did was showing the picture of means that this is my son do yours have a kid like this other people burst into tears and and children come into my children's were. pulled to the day our flight literally.
in england the little mind was being sold under the brand name distal by the country's largest liquor manufacturer the distillers company as in germany distillers had received reports of deformed babies but had been assured by green and thought that the drug was completely safe. louise mason was one of 533 little my babies born in england over a 6 and a half year period the weser only learned about the circumstances of her birth by reading her father's bestselling autobiography i haven't got any arms and legs and my dad said it was like a little flower buds. you know from my arms and from my lips my dad had a look at me. and. he said my god you're not going to let this baby live. and they said yes my mom was only 21
and she was advised by doctors to put me away and concentrate and having another family. after 11 days in hospital her parents took louise to an institution for handicapped children where she would spend the next 18 years of her life that louise was fortunate her father had not asked another doctor to end her life because unquestionable bad midwives and doctors were killing disabled children. in the hospitals and the delivery rooms on a large scale in britain. in germany. and if there are probably everywhere else in canada another armless baby was spared by a poor ukrainian family in a rural cisco. years later calvin long learned how horrified his natural parents
were when he was born ultimately it was the paternal grandmother who didn't want to have anything to do with us she said you're not going to bring that devil baby home with you he's he's deformed because of a curse. the armless baby wasn't taken home after doctors warned he would never lead a normal life but after 6 weeks an elderly couple jack and hilda law who had already raised their own children volunteered as foster parents and got their 1st look at alice and i took one look and i thought no wonder nobody wants that and the next time i went to see him course they had a bath and dressed and hid them took their toll. well of in favor of taking him away with greater family members or but. it was a baby with nobody wanted i'm sure we're going to. turn out ok. my
life story shifted the moment that sophie and peter my birth father gave me up. that that that is a profound chapter shift in my life because i went to live with the laws. my life became this life. back. in cincinnati ohio and deeply religious roman catholic couple with 6 children were expecting another normal birth my mother's story is that when i was born they were not at all prepared and the doctor said joy your baby doesn't have any legs. so she says that she took the baby me and she said well eileen is my 4 leaf clover i have
a sibling who told me that my father cried and that when he came home he handed me to my siblings and everyone got very upset and they said take it away. someone ripped off the blankets and said at not a baby or something to that effect that's not our sister. that was what i was told. as a young child. painful. eileen cronan was one of several follow to my babies born in cincinnati where an american drug company richards and merrill had their headquarters like the german drug company merrill promoted the drug as completely safe even during pregnancy like green and fell merrill had no evidence to back this up. merrill applied to the
federal drug administration in 1960 for approval to bring sullivan might onto the american market and was allowed to conduct clinical trials on patients across the country now it wasn't a clinical trial at all what it was was a marketing campaign trumped up to look like a clinical trial michael madison it is an australian lawyer and former investigative reporter who spent years researching the thalidomide disaster what merrill wanted to do was to familiarize doctors with a drug so that once they got approval they would have doctors all ready to go through with a drug really to prescribe it like crazy the little mind was now being sold in close to 50 countries worldwide in 1961 in australia dr william mcbride delivered 3 solidify babies in a few months he alerted distillers the british distributor thalidomide but they claimed they never received his warnings and pregnant mothers like when he wrote
continue to take the lead in mind for morning sickness but when her daughter lynette was born when the immediately knew something was wrong when she was born it was just deadly silence in the room and i just knew that something must be wrong and nobody said a word it was just lads are let's and and i finally they said to me that there was a problem with that limb had no arms links and. you know and they gave it to me and she doesn't look very different to what she does name she had sticking up there in the cutest little face. and. and i you know it's just like a slacker not me i was pulled in but they know it you know when you looked at her and thought when you could love a chick out you know you can turn into a battle that i said we think she's got some brain damage but we don't know what
the state of knowledge just looked everywhere on the system thing now is and you surprised them despite what hypercard. they told me that i should put her in a home that she would be dead in 6 months. weightlifter there from way quote we went away. just to get ahead a real deal and then come back to pick her up and that was really hard going back to the hospital to pick her up. in germany going in 1000 advertising campaign was paying huge dividends and company owner and executives were making fortunes over night especially heinrich mokhtar going in 1000 research director. during the war mokhtar served as a natty doctor developing vaccines which were tested on jewish prisoners in the book and vowed concentration camps many of whom died after the war mokhtar joined
groan and 9 years later he invented thalidomide and received a bonus for every thought in my pills sold worldwide in germany where the pills sold at a rate of $15000000.00 a month 5000 children of that born therefore from starboard germany morley safer report in november of 961 just 300 miles from here in hamburg dr very good let the director of human genetics at the university of found an astounding increase in the number before the baby it used to convert or a little was because the intel center had 66000 letters to german doctors declaring the drug. 66000 list from the top whose own you know it's. there was a period where they've been told that the drug was largely responsible for an epidemic of malformations and deaths and they're telling doctors they drug use earth and it really wasn't until prescott hold of it. and they knew it was going to
go public but they finally backed off from agreeing. on nov 28th 1961 a day after the thalidomide scandal made headlines in west germany. it was withdrawing the drug from the market even a 1st later through spring of 1961. by taking the drug off the market that they would have spared half the bank. in england louise mason and didn't see her parents and 3 siblings for months at a time. i was left alone most of the time my parents had other children there's no way that they could leave them with my nan. because my grandpa was oh so they just stopped coming. i went home 3 weeks a year. for week mommy can sum up my making christmas i'm a big east and every holiday was like getting to know your brothers and sisters
again. alvin law's parents decided the best way to get their arm listen to cope with life was to turn his toes into fingers for hours album was given manual task to perform with the seat. that granted having no arms of the exact rather simple disability is a very complicated disability and i'd be lying if i did say it was a lot of work a lot of work a lot of time spent by myself very lonely very afraid very frustrated but i think it was the character that was built by my parents especially by my parents. that allowed me to not really think that i was all that different. it's not an easy thing to get dressed but. again it goes back to the basic theory of my life and that is to i have someone look after me or do i look after myself. but more than
anything i think it's a mindset you know that ok there's a lot of people in our world that have wave bigger problems than i have so that i have to spend a little extra effort putting my clothes on so what. the moment i started using my tolls and my feet and my legs was the same moment i ceased to have a disability. in the united states there would have been thousands of the little my babies like allen law except for the actions of one woman dr francis kelsey a canadian born doctor and pharmacologist had just joined the federal drug administration when she received an application to bring thalidomide onto the american market here was a drug that looked like it should be no problems but at the same time there was
just a feeling that. there was something in the the leader of the absence of the. cause of concern the application came from richardson merrill one of america's oldest drug companies known years ago for its best selling product mix cough drops merrill put on the pressure they contacted the f.d.a. 50 times they went behind her back to his superiors they can find a better in writing the threatened level proceedings i pushed and pushed and pushed and she was resolute she was unbelievably tough. i know that we're all at most indebted to dr kelsey the relationship with the hope that all of us have the right children in august 1062 president john. f. kennedy ordered the highest civilian honor an american can receive said dr francis kelsey well dr kill she said i need to know more i want to have more i demand to have more the canadian government simply approved it and i believe that was below
the standard of what should have been expected from an industrialized. first world . country like very civilized canada phillida might continue to be sold in canada for 4 months after it was withdrawn from the german market the food and drug directorate in ottawa issued no warnings to the public while the drug remained on pharmacy shelves. most that in my days don't use artificial limbs today but eileen cronan is an exception she wears artificial legs every day to get around . i was born with both legs missing from the knees down according to my mother i did adapt to the legs pretty quickly. and if you have. you know martial legs a lot of things go wrong you've got to go around conducting life and yeah you know you've got a skin infection and you've got
a playground leg on when you can it do me i put the leg on i guess that's not always the best thing to do but. that's what i do. in australia artificial limbs proved to be useless and even dangerous for lynette row these legs when there's on fair lean to walking but they're terribly dangerous because every step she took she had to rope from start to sound the least little thing on the path she would just fall over strike them. lynette required the full time care of her devoted parents. for years her mother's nightly routine was always the same. and you know getting up in the north and turning you're getting your pain and it's just sort of that it's a constant thing that. i talk to some young mothers sometimes and i say if you
don't know it's you don't think. he has enough thank you sure. in march $967.00 the owner and 8 executives of green and all the german drug company were charged with criminal negligence premeditated bodily harm and manslaughter. among the defendants was heinrich mokhtar the nasty doctor who made a fortune inventing fun of the mind one drama historian has looked. a short list of grown file stuff from the early sixty's and he said it's absolutely astonishing that a small company should have such a concentration of convicted war criminals on it stopped unusual even parts found its a post-war germany. another chop grown and it was awful amorous and that's a war criminal known as the devil's chemist ambrose was convicted of war crimes he
committed at auschwitz for which he served 4 years in prison but after the war the chemist found no shortage of employers including dow chemical j. peter grace and the u.s. army's chemical corps before he became chairman of grain and 1000 board of directors in 1971. the man who hired nancy war criminals like ambrose and was green and felt owner herrmann verts verts was a member of the local nats the party in his hometown before the 2nd world war a service for which he was handsomely rewarded by an off the beach family company had actually thrived during the war years because they'd had a contract from the german army it was by soap and intelligence. they had been supplied with slave work. they had been basically handed to come and it was all a play both by the jewish owned or jewish controlled use of noise it was
a personal lawyer for a good 1000 owner herrmann verbs but in december 966 noyes berger resigned suddenly became justice minister in the province where the trial was being held granted house chief defense lawyer. ended up with a government responsibility for overseeing the conduct of the trial. that kind of strength. one german observer of the day said this makes us look worse than a banal republic. i will. in the trial a secret deal was worked out between granting 1000 owner hammond birds and the provincial government the secret deal was only revealed when the trial was dramatically stopped after 2 and a half years under the deal volumes of the prosecution's evidence would be sealed from public view. in return for having all the serious criminal charges against its owner and executives dropped the company agreed to pay the victims lifetime pensions ranging from $30.00 to $140.00 a month as well as
a small one time payments but in order to collect the money the little mite has had to agree not to launch any further suits against her and so taken as a whole the trial was a glorious if unlucky triumph. really scared from the disaster relief of what was given the sky oh and the scope of the tragedy. while canada loudly celebrated its 100th birthday and 967 lisa miller my family has suffered in silence a few parents had committed suicide others became alcoholics and some were having severe psychiatric. that's a little my children were now school age but the question that plagued medical and educational authorities was what type of school should they enter school says wait he's got no arms he can't go to the school they don't have such
a thing as integration on and out again what's integration he's a kid needs to go to school he needs to learn and it's to be educated he can write you can read what else do you need the school finally agreed to take alvin. in england $197.00 families of the little my children were suing distillers the british company which had distributed the drug distillers made a ridiculously low offer of compensation and warned that the money would be paid out only if all parents agreed to the lifetime deal 5 families refused the offer they were led by david mason and wealthy london artillery and father of luis there i came under tremendous pressure i received threats on my life i had a police guard for a period of time i had anonymous phone calls i had anonymous letter. you know threats from parents her father as well publicised opposition to the compensation created problems for luis and her care institution up until then i was not one of
the crowd but after. i was picked on and that's when i felt like i was alone in amongst a crowd. louise escaped the hostility of her classmates when her father took her out to participate in publicized events for his campaign i was used as a as opposed to go no only because i was his daughter because i had the extremes of disability and fissioning i had quite an impact. david mason's campaign succeeded in increasing by 6 times the drug companies' original offer to the parents i did pay a heavy price. but. if i hadn't paid the price the synod of my does wouldn't have got the compensation when they got the compensation so i think it was one. of the little riders were becoming to me just.
now the north riding school and by the time he was a teenager he seemed to fit right in. as far as the whole senior school has been i think that's the most important part is being accepted by people if you're not accepted there won't be. worse anything it was about acceptance totally and it was about asking 2 or 3 girls out on dates to which i heard are you kidding i want to date just like any 16 year old but i didn't have that good fortune and of course i used to blame it on the girls and maybe it was part only them but i know it was mostly me i thought and i was going to have to be a 9 i didn't think that i was going to go on dates i didn't know what was going to happen and that that's not how it happened i had a great high school run i mean you know i had a lot of fun my friends i had too much fun and if you're like me and my friends you drive around and look for pools and he goes and that's both we did. for most
of the miters getting behind the wheel of a car was the road to independence and freedom. the weeds mason was determined to drive no matter how difficult it was for her just this eclipse to get behind the wheel and do up her seat. and. just. want to drive these trucks who never shot tonight sable parsons somebody. text which. was exciting same as they do on ours there's no difference they came so naturally driving and actually we were transferred to most of my life.
in the car. because we were sharing. what the little biters didn't know was that the drug was still in circulation though grown and fellow had stopped producing the drug the little mite made an early comeback in the mid sixty's when other suppliers began manufacturing it in india and some south american countries where it had become the drug of choice for treating leprosy. so i don't walk into. my own body i have a good body. was more found himself in the public limelight he became his problems a spokesman for handicapped children. was. released i think. over the years alvin would make appearances on telephones across the country. i think going here.
am. i not better than other people. because a lot of helicopters. or people get it wrong. they look at all the law and they think god it's tremendous how you can do things like this. well i suppose if you look at your feet it's tremendous but these are life these are my hands too and i have been doing it forever these are not tremendous feet isn't the only thing that i've got so when i pick up a coffee and i have a drink you know. wow what a thrill. i do think thing and thank you. life wasn't so kind for another it's a lot of my poster child louise mason continued to endure bullying from other kids at her institution for the handicapped but one day when she was 13 she was raped by
another student. louise went to a nurse for help i was shaking i was tearful and. i took my underwear off and i saw blood and i tried to explain to them what happened they did nothing. nothing to. louise endured 5 more years of fear and loneliness before finally leaving the institution then like any 18 year old louise immediately started to enjoy the freedom and joys of college life. balance parts and just. because. it was something that shouldn't or wasn't allowed. i went to the park regularly trying to be ready for me i got into trouble then it was press for a poison human or a date. night is so you can go to the vice president of the student union.
well but. unlike louise mason who really saw her mother during childhood jaan shelter hill and formed a close bond with his mother from birth and her unwavering support and encouragement were critical in his career decision she never lost hope she'll she said you everything you want to achieve in your life you're going to achieve it i have absolutely no doubt and when i when i turned up with harry with the idea that . that i wanted to be a doctor everybody told me you should not it's not a very good idea you cannot do that you will have severe problems she said son do your own thing if that's what you want to do you're going to match jani is now an emergency room doctor in switzerland i don't consider my condition as a major issue and i'm not of little mind for a start on the 1st but i'm a man i'm trying to be a good doctor and trying to be a good husband arms and
a father i'm a lover and i have short arms and that's it and if people have problems it's accepting me or i have problems to interact with me because i have short arms it's their program it's not mine after years of waiting suffering and fighting for compensation canadian victims of the little mite are finally getting the help they need from the federal government yesterday the health minister said survivors of the drug will receive lifelong pensions individuals can now start feeling comfortable about their future they know they have a. amount of money coming in every year that can support them and help them. i don't know what your lives are like sometimes life can really be rough on people i understand that i get it i've been in real life alvin law is a motivational speaker who's influenced audiences in north america and australia with his message of hope is special to more than 2000000 youngsters who heard his
top speaking is the best thing i could have ever cited if you're helping kids and they need to have somebody come in and tell them that it's going to be ok but i get such tremendous joy out of doing it there is nothing in my life that makes you happens. nothing in college eileen cronin fell in love with andy a graduate student in economics i was in love very definitely a person. although her. already had a boyfriend you know i immediately was drugged or you know her vases and intelligence and her wit we moved in together. and we got pregnant very quickly. very quickly. i was wracked with worry all my life about having a child because i didn't know for sure that my mother had taken berlin and i i was
kind of panicked it started just settling in oh my god i'm going to have a baby i don't even know if i can have a baby i don't know if the baby is going to have legs or not have legs or something else but also really i did not know how i was going to carry a baby in my back and so they did the ultrasound alter sound technician zoom dan right away found put one foot blew it up took a picture and wrote foots that and then other foot hands fingers and. i was crying and all the internet started laughing we knew that she would be ok.
when his 1st wife sandy became pregnant alvin law was terrified about what the future held when i saw him come out of there with 2 arms and. 2 hands and 5 little fingers i'm trying. i didn't care what gravity was at all or if it was a she or he you're a good good matter. it was just the most tremendous feeling my son. i mean again. going back i worried a lot about how i was going to play ball with. you know your arms to be there you don't mean arms to listen you don't need arms to be a father at all unfortunately too many fathers that have watched it realize that. they were forgotten that's true you just have. either. that surprised me. the tears i don't are not sad i'm just.
as big as little as. i misled little boy sometimes but that's not how life works right louise mason had been a single mother for 10 years when she received a christmas card from an old boyfriend i'd heard that louie haven't been very well in country christmas card and come down and had allowed up at the park reignited if the best way to describe it. he kissed me goodbye and butterflies for. i was sort of floating on on a cloud and he told his wife he was leaving she how to impact. and then he moved on in. leaving you get a sense. it really really fast and i can i will i would communicate he would go there without even talking. and i think we i think we
were made for it to that we wanted. in 1907 the thalidomide victims association of canada faced an agonizing choice a small american drug company celgene wanted to bring thalidomide onto the market as a treatment for leprosy and cancer but needed the approval of the federal drug administration in washington celgene sought the support of canadian victims for its application if the little i can change for the better the life of a child with cancer that lets produce it and let's give it to these children and let's make their lives better and if it's because of the price that we had to pay good then maybe we can have some solace in knowing that it wasn't all in vain in july 998 the u.s. food and drug administration licensed a fun little mind based drug but in those the tightest rules on its use for any drug in history officially celgene got f.d.a. approval for thalidomide to treat lepers
a miniscule american market but the drug company quickly began focusing on it as a treatment from multiple myeloma a cancer of the blood cells and got approval for that use in 2006. in australia. with the british company that bought distillers were co-defendants in a multi-million dollar class action suit centered on the net row case melbourne woman lynette row is suing the drug's manufacturer grin and tell the company what of the case here in germany where it's never successfully been so that the victorian supreme court today dismissed that application this was an application boy the company that made the leader mord the worst drug in the history of medicine to have an armless legless woman who has no money and doesn't speak german if she wishes to have a day in court have to move to germany for the next 4 years so we had diaz and groom tazo defendants going to have this never given never. milla thing never
considered far to the bitter end of the steelers took a much more compassionate sensible way to approach which was once convinced of the strength of the climb they settled with when good intel didn't pay a cent we had to get up and fight stage that every day in court where the incredible damage the grown toward didn't really know now that the settlement amount was a multi-billion dollar some it was a sum sufficient to provide lynn with 1st class care for the rest of off it really has dramatically transformed the rise lives good and if used to pay a cent of the multimillion dollar settlement the 2 months later held a press conference so it could apologize to its victims for the 1st time in 50 years everybody knows because human story to go that's their 1st chance to get out a long distance between from managed to managed. to deafen obviously just wouldn't
feel like it because you know it was the longest walk was just a slice of just enough at all to be in year 6 by ones that every family couldn't have gone into something shocking we had to get up and fight aids day every day in court with the incredible damage they've grown through or got. to live in their family no. good intel is still a privately owned company the votes family owns it today just as it did in 9860 does not have show shareholders demanding returns the vets family's personal fortune has been variously estimated at the 23000000000 euros it would not drive that family into. penury or bankruptcy or poverty to loosen the purse strings and behave in a more generous fashion towards a voter's. going cell no longer makes the little mind and continues to deny most
little matters outside germany any compensation no survivors feel they have received an acceptable apology or. good and are refused to be interviewed for this film. today celgene continues to prosper from the sale of its followed in my derived drugs to treat multiple myeloma. prior to getting approval to bring its version of the drug back onto the market in 1998 the american drug company was valued at $100000000.00. today celgene value has soared to $100000000000.00. the original further to my drug is easy and cheap to manufacture and continues to be made and distributed by several drug companies and governments to treat leprosy unfortunately it is mostly used in countries that often do not enforce rigorous controls and regulation as a result a little mite injured babies i still.
believe the mind is world wide void by the success of the net roqueted every new efforts to fight for compensation as they battle with the continuous side effect of . the conflict. is just 3 months since india decide. google hard to change in kashmir my guess this week here in london is comes up national vice-president and one of the chief spokesman of the ruling the b j p others who also the charges of widespread human rights violations in kashmir
. i'm sure that of us are. in support of. what's a big but stable block over. to the river. was the speech of his life perhaps his best certainly his most difficult chancellor helmut kohl addresses the people of east germany shortly after the fall of the wall. climbers for terminology journalist peter lim borg was at the scene. 13 years later he looks back on the time president.
starts december 19th. w. this is d w news live from the lead in the bush fires burning out of control in australia several fires have now combined to form a mega sydney travelling the country for the largest city in a cloud of toxic smoke fire i'd just say it's too big to per se also coming up fires also on the streets of paris as activists express their range of proposed for told me that they say will make life on the for the gulf.