Orthopedics: Help for Thalidomide Victims

It was a grim harvest for West Germany: 3,000 babies dead shortly after birth and another 3,000 with grotesque malformations, because their mothers had taken the sleeping-pill tranquilizer thalidomide during early pregnancy. What was to become of the little victims? With legs and arms deformed or missing, some of the babies promised to be lifelong basket cases. All seemed unequipped to face their uncertain future.

Many of the parents, particularly young couples whose deformed child was their first, did not even want to accept their babies. Others, who had larger families, argued...

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