Rarely, an expert consultation was in a parliamentary committee such a great response: The family committee had to change the meeting room of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group in order to create space for the more than 240 people with thalidomide damage as active listeners in their own right for the two-hour hearing come were. Even if the federal government probably feared a catastrophe, she had yet seen fit to place 35 members of the Technical Relief in adjoining rooms. Helpful but were probably still the also dedicated sign language and written interpreter who translated and talking simultaneously on two large screens projected, so that the deaf and hard of hearing thalidomide victims were able to follow the views of the experts – a service for overcoming communication barriers, affected the wish on other issues.
Two hundred and forty people with thalidomide damage, that was almost a tenth of all the surviving victims in Germany, which were perceived by the public until recently still as "thalidomide children". The person responsible for discipline but it is no longer the paediatrics, but the Gerontology – a fast-paced, on the grounds Direction actually accelerated aging in perspective. Perhaps it is no coincidence that in the public perception with regard to this highly regarded group phase of adult life was skipped – leaving aside the public's admiration for individual celebrities like Thomas Quasthoff. Children and old people are objects of care, they are regarded as people, to which you have to provide more than that they would have expected, to make their lives even responsible. That the parties themselves accept this role and not intervene, one of the outstanding messages of the hearing was on Friday.
That legislators in the seventies taken to compensate the victims of thalidomide by the law itself, and hence the actual tortfeasor, the company GrÃ¼nenthal, relieved from further claims has – an unprecedented nature in the face of but also unprecedented action – should the supply ensure the right of victims and serve peace. The Federal Constitutional Court has in several decisions, which were caused by victims, who were cheated of their compensation claims, stood on the side of the legislature. It has the basic judgment of 1976, however, also requires that the legislature has removed this incident from the autonomous private sector regulation and made it a state matter, even in the future should be taken over the responsibility.
That victims are forced with their care and assistance needs in the social assistance will not have been meant. If you look in the databases of case law, one finds a variety of choices of social and civil courts, which reject the attempt by people with thalidomide damage, to be involved in other compensation schemes as the Thalidomide Foundation. The high number of cases and in the circle of victims unanimous outrage over what will deal with them and their needs, show that the state has with its goal of producing by the occurrence of the Community legal peace so far failed.
One reason is that it is not the state managed the Thalidomide Foundation itself, which is also responsible for the distribution of funds, which also plays to the outside play an important role, by law in such a way that the persons concerned in it a leading role play. The Thalidomide Foundation Act, which the ministerial secures a majority in the Foundation Committees precludes even that an interested party could be trustees chairman, and prevent a full confidentiality for all committee members, that the few representatives of the beneficiaries in the bodies can inform their base comprehensively. This could allow to create more transparency and influence to the victim that the Foundation is also the central office for communication between stakeholders and policy. Such an instance is urgently required if the history of the thalidomide victims compensation not to end as a story of failure demanding scale government intervention.