The tragedy of the morning sickness drug thalidomide is well-known in many countries around the world because of its disastrous effects on babies born during the 1960s and 1970s that left them with severe problems, usually missing limbs. Around half of those with the condition died, others had to grow up with prosthetic legs or arms.
What may be less well-known is the story of the vigilant woman pharmacologist and researcher who stopped the drug being released into the United States where it would almost certainly have caused an even wider tragedy.
Whenever governments decide to cut back on those involved in health research - and especially those who do the checks on the safety of drugs before they are released into the community - it is worth reminding them of the story of Canadian Frances Oldham Kelsey who was rigorous in her work with the US FDA.
Courageous and stubborn, she was committed to do the right thing and refused to give into pressure from the mighty drug companies and thus ultimately stopped thousands more families from suffering the heartbreak and disabilities that afflicted far too many others.
Frances died aged 101 in 2015, just hours after rather belatedly receiving the Order of Canada from the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, just one of the many awards she received during her lifetime - and rightly so.
Our world needs more gatekeepers like this wonderful woman.
Video about her at Acheron
Article from The Smithsonian.
Obituary in The New York Times.