Aug 08, 2015
By Kim O'Hare
Frances Kelsey, The Canadian doctor who led the fight against thalidomide, has passed away, less than 24 hours after being presented with the insignia of Member of the Order of Canada.
Frances Kelsey, died Friday morning at age 101.
Kelsey was a medical officer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the early 1960s when she raised concerns about thalidomide, a drug that was being used in other countries to treat morning sickness and insomnia in pregnant women.
Despite pressure from the makers of thalidomide to approve the drug, she refused to approve its use in the US, and as the result, thousands of American children were saved from crippling birth defects.
Kelsey’s daughter, Christine Kelsey, says the ceremony had originally been scheduled for September but was held earlier due to her mother’s deteriorating health.