Saturday, November 10, 1962: Thalidomide acquittal


From The Associated Press (November 11):

   LIEGE, Belgium -- Three women and two men tried for the killing of a malformed thalidomide baby girl were acquitted yesterday by a 12-man jury.
   The accused were: Suzanne Vandeput, 24, accused of the homicide of her daughter, Corinne, by administering barbiturate drugs in the baby's food; her husband, Jean Vandeput, 35; her sister, Monique de la Marck, 26, the child's grandmother, Fernande Yerna, 50, and the family doctor, Jacques Casters, 33, all accused of complicity,
   The trial lasted five days. The prosecution had demanded convictions for the death of the 8-day-old baby.
   Applause and shouts from the huge crowd packed into every inch of the court greeted the verdict. Women fainted and were held up by the pressure of the crowd.
   Mrs. Vandeput was given thalidomide during her pregnancy by Dr. Casters. In May, she gave birth to a girl without arms, without shoulders, with completely deformed feet, and other gruesome deformities.
   A family council with her husband, who is a municipal clerk, her mother, and her sister, decided that the deformed baby should be humanely killed.
   Dr. Casters, who felt himself responsible for the tragedy, prescribed the barbiturate which Suzanne mixed into the baby's milk -- with the full knowledge and support of her husband, her mother and her sister. Corinne died painlessly in her sleep at the age of 7 days.

* Newsreel: @
* Life magazine (August 10): @
* "All 5 Freed In Death of Thal Baby" (Miami News, November 11): @
* "Cheers, Tears Support Thal Trial Acquittal Verdict" (Miami News, November 15): @
* thalidomide50.blogspot.com: @

Previous posts:
* 1962 (Thalidomide in the U.S.): @
* 1961 (Letter in The Lancet): @
* 1960 (Drug application): @ 

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