The tin lids : the thalidomide story.

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About this work


Very comprehensive documentary looking at the lives of thalidomiders 30 years after the drug was withdrawn from the market. The programme begins with accounts from mothers who took the drug during pregnancy and from both mothers and fathers about how they felt following the birth of a disabled child. In particular, David Mason describes how he felt after the birth of his four limb deficient daughter, Louise Medus-Mansell. He sent Louise to Chailey Heritage Craft School and Hospital and he attempts to justify that decision; this is intercut with footage of Louise herself revisiting Chailey Heritage and describing how difficult it was growing up away from the family. However, many other parents cared for their child at home. These decisions were to have a profound affect on the future of the children, who talk about how their parents' early choices affected their lives. In this respect, the programme focuses quite specifically on how having love was perhaps in the end more important to the children than having limbs. A fascinating section looks at attempts to 'rebuild' thalidomide children by providing them with prosthetic limbs, thus alleviating the guilt of both parents and medical profession. Archive footage is shown of children in various prosthetic limb devices. Terry Wiles, in particular, talks poignantly about how it felt to be wearing artificial arms and legs and an account is given of how Wiles' adopted father designed him various implements to help him to get around and find some independence. David Mason talks in detail about his fight against the pharmaceutical profession, Distiller's in this country, Chemie Grunenthal in Germany, to get compensation for children affected by the thalidomide.


UK : Anglia TV, 1991.

Physical description

1 videocassette (VHS) (60 min.) : sound, color, PAL

Copyright note

Anglia Television Limited

Creator/production credits

Researched, written and produced by Geoffrey Weaver.



Where to find it

  • LocationStatusAccess
    Closed stores
  • LocationStatusAccess
    Closed stores

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