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Provincial compensation promised for thalidomide victims

The Story

By late 1962 it is apparent that thalidomide is the cause of many babies being born with deformities and disabilities, most notably phocomelia, a limb malformation in which the hands or feet start immediately from the shoulder or hip, like the flippers of a seal. Because the government failed to warn the Canadian public of the dangers, Ontario's Premier John Robarts promises government compensation to thalidomide babies and their families, in November 1962.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: Nov. 23, 1962
Guest: John Robarts
Interviewer: Art Robson
Duration: 1:12

Did You know?

• For those babies who survived, birth defects in addition to phocomelia included: deafness, blindness, disfigurement, cleft palate, as well as many other internal disabilities.

• While thalidomide was notorious as a killer and disabler of thousands of babies, some of the adult population also experienced the effects of peripheral neuritis -- a devastating and sometimes irreversible nerve disorder.


Thalidomide: Bitter Pills, Broken Promises more