To mark the occasion of the 2012 Apology and as a symbol of remembrance, the company unveiled a bronze statue. The reactions were mixed. Some felt a sense of closure, while others felt it was a little too late. There was also a sentiment that the apology lacked sincerity.
“The memorial symbolizes an important milestone of a larger development. It is a development towards an ongoing dialogue, ongoing moving towards one another, incipient efforts to understand and, as a result, being able to act together.”
~ Harald Stock
Canadian Thalidomide survivor Paul Murphy called the apology a “good joke” and an “insult.” Murphy urged the manufacturer to “put the money towards those who need it.”
“To apologize for something is one thing…To accept responsibility to those who need it is another.”
~ Paul Murphy*
* from an interview with CBC News
“It’s the sort of apology you give when you’re not really sorry. It’s also insulting,”
“Shock is having your precious child born without arms and legs. It’s accepting that your child is not going to have that life that you wanted for her,” she said, sobbing as she described the impact the drug has had on her life.
~ Wendy Rowe, mother of Lynette Rowe, Australia
“In our view, it’s not an apology. It’s not even half an apology. In fact, it’s just pathetic.”
Michael Magazanik, Lawyer – Slater & Gordon, Australia*
* Source: CBC “Thalidomide Maker Apologizes 50 Years After Drug Pulled” (Sept. 1, 2012. Web.)
“Having tried to remind them of their criminal behavior across a negotiating table on several occasions, I didn’t think this company would ever make things right. This is important first step. The next is to compensate everyone damaged by their so-called ‘totally harmless’ drug.”*
~ Geoff Adams Spink, Chairman of EDRIC – European Dysmelia Reference Information Centre, Thalidomide survivor
*Source: Medical News Today “Thalidomide Apology 50 Years Later” (Sep. 2, 2012. Web.)