National apologies are a step in the right direction but changes in policy are even better.
Luckily due to thalidomide deformities drug regulations have already been changed. In the US the Kefauver-Harris Amendments (1962) require drug companies to prove efficacy and safety before being marketed, and gives the FDA 180 days to review drug applications.
The US also suffered less deformities due to a FDA pharmacologist (Dr. Frances Kelsey) who refused the drug application to market the drug due to a lack of safety evidence and reports of nerve damage, so only clinical trials were using thalidomide with only 17 birth deformities unlike other countries with 10,000.
A study of National apologies found 329 apologies by 74 countries usually involving human rights in liberal democracies. Another study found strong support in the receiving group but backlash from other groups.
Courts also look favorably on apologies with lighter sentences and damages where there are apologies.
"329 political apologies offered by 74 countries, and cross-nationally mapped and compared these apologies. Our data reveal that apologies have increasingly been offered since the end of the Cold War, and that this trend has accelerated in the last 20 years. They have been offered across the globe, be it that they seem to have been embraced by consolidated liberal democracies and by countries transitioning to liberal democracies in particular. Most apologies have been offered for human rights violations that were related to or took place in the context of a (civil) war, but there appears to be some selectivity as to the specific human rights violations that countries actually mention in the apologies"
"They find that apology-making, both as statements acknowledging wrongdoing and as expressions of remorse, boosts approval in the recipient state. But in the apologizing state, backlash is likely among individuals with strong hierarchical group dispositions—manifested as nationalism, social-dominance orientation, and conservatism—and among those who do not consider the recipient a strategically important partner."
"More apologies would therefore reduce litigation and speed up settlements."
- Jim2423 11/17/2023
It sure is hard to apologize when you find out you made a mistake. I commend Australia for honesty. To bad we can't learn from them.
- Martha 11/17/2023
An apology is better than nothing, but efforts should be taken to provide restitution to the victims and their parents of this hideous error (if restitution has not already been issued). Furthermore, if the partiees involved who manufactured, distributed, and approved this drug for use haven't been charged with criminal or civil charges they should be and ordered to make restitution. These kinds of errors are totally unacceptable.
- Dawn 11/17/2023
Usually they're insincere so there's no point. There should also be some sort of compensation to the victims or their families as well.
- Adam 11/17/2023
I mean, they don't usually achieve anything unless there's some sort of legislation attached. But it's a good sign of a healthy democracy when a government can acknowledge past mistakes.
an apology is hollow without action to correct.
if I steal your car- then say ''sorry''- but don't return your car, and continue to drive it, thats not justice.
we need restorative justice.
- Dona 11/18/2023
When we know better, we should do better. That includes admitting to previous errors.
- Lyn Z 11/17/2023
However,an apology doesn't make it right, and what else have we all done to remedy the tragedies that came from this drug. Anybody get assistance or compensation? But at least, Aussies have a sense of ethics that USA often overlooks in medical matters (and others). Nobody won on this one.
- Steph 11/17/2023
I am for national public apologies, and that's fine-but they need to change policies to show that their apologies are sincere.....otherwise, it's just empty words.
- PLZ 11/17/2023
This shows respect and character of the country. Too bad so many have suffered.
It also shows how dangerous a drug can be when we rush for an antidote.
I'd support National Apologies
Each National Apology is accompanied by compensation, education, commemoration, and guidelines for not repeating the same mistake(s), and memorializing the past mistake in museums or other cultural sites, gestures like postage stamps, and events. There also needs to be a "letting go" occasion for the travesty. Holding onto grievances is a mistake