We live in a world where medicine is provided for almost anything. If we have a cold, we go to the hospital, receive some medicine and hope it does its magic. Most of the time, we consume medication without knowing what it is made out of, and how harmful it can be in the long run. As I was reading, “Toxic Advice and a Deadly Drug: DES,” the last chapter in part three of Get Me Out, I realized that we might often consume toxic chemicals without actually knowing what they are. According to the FDA, when new drugs are developed, they encounter many phases and are faced with many challenges along the way. Unfortunately, after all of these test and phases, we still turn on our televisions and discover all about the crazy side effects a specific medication can cause. I mean if a commercial is saying that the medication can cause kidney failure, high risk of depression, heart failure, internal bleeding and so on, is the medication really worth it?
“The tragic irony is that the drug did not prevent miscarriages but it did harm babies exposed to it in an insidious way,” (129).
As I continued reading more in this chapter, I came across a drug known as diethylstilbestrol or DES. This drug was used in order to prevent miscarriages. Evidently, after years of having consumed the medication, the dangerous side effects ultimately unfolded. With this being said, the symptoms were mostly known to affect younger individuals that were between their teens and 20’s whose mothers consumed DES during their pregnancy. A few of these terrible side effects that were caused by DES included infertility, vaginal cancer, and abnormal structures of reproductive tracts. Unhappily, despite these terrible effects, many women consumed this drug in order to “help” them during their pregnancy. As a matter of fact, this medicine was very well consumed up until the FDA finally decided to remove this medication in the year of 2000.
“What is even more troubling about the DES saga is that even when solid evidence proved that the drug was not effective, it continued to be given for years,” (130).
Having read this information, I can now state that I believe that science has influenced many pregnant individuals since the year of 1938. Since science has undergone many innovations, it has provided many individuals with opportunities that might have not happened in a natural situation. What I mean by this is that science continues to impress us with such incredible resources that we fall into the trick without actually knowing what might happen. A great example of this would have to be DES. Pregnant women consumed this medication in order to prevent miscarriages but ended up affecting their fetus in a very damaging way. Having said this, I believe that science is a great thing when it does not harm anyone.
“When a doctor told you he had a pill that would prevent a miscarriage, he believed he was helping you and you believed him. We were not naive. We believed in the system,” (132).
I really liked your blog post. I liked how you added about the drug, DES. I too read about that. I think its so unfortunate that women thought the drug would be helpful during pregnancy but instead risked their child and their lives. I can tell you really enjoyed reading this book and learnt a lot.