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The Thalidomide Scandal: A Long Road to Justice


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Thalidomide was an over-the-counter ‘wonder drug’, marketed to pregnant women in the 1950s and 1960s to treat morning sickness and anxiety. Lyn Rowe was born in Melbourne in 1962 with no arms and no legs after her mother took the drug during her pregnancy. In 2011, aged 49, Rowe finally won a multimillion-dollar settlement from the Australian distributor of thalidomide. It’s estimated that as many as 10,000 babies worldwide may have been born with deformities because their mothers had taken the drug.

Former journalist and Lyn Rowe’s lawyer, Michael Magazanik, has written Silent Shock – a book that unpacks the incredible story of the Rowe family’s struggle against the drug companies who have sought to evade responsibility. Join Magazanik in conversation with Jill Singer for a discussion of justice delayed – and almost denied.


Michael Magazanik

Michael Magazanik has worked as a journalist for the Age, Australian and ABC TV, and is now a lawyer with Slater and Gordon. He represented Lyn Rowe from 2010 until 2014. He lives in Melbourne with his partner and three children. 

Jill Singer

Jill Singer is a journalist, broadcaster, author and lecturer. She lectures in journalism at RMIT University following 25 years as a reporter in print, radio and television. As well as winning awards for television broadcasts on architectural and medical issues, she won the Walkley Award in 1992 for... Read more


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