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Nightmare: Women and the Dalkon Shield

Nightmare: Women and the Dalkon Shield

by Susan Perry

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Library Journal - Library Journal
Both these books chronicle the events surrounding the adverse effects of the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device. The shield, which was introduced in 1970, was used by nearly 3 million women, thousands of whom suffered infections, complicated pregnancies, and other side effects. At least 20 women died. The first claim against its manufacturer was settled in 1975, but the device was not ``recalled'' until 1984, when an estimated 600,000 women still were using it. Lord's Justice centers on the noteworthy involvement of Federal Judge Miles W. Lord throughout the decade of litigation. The authors approach the history of the case from a legal point of view, excerpting actual court transcripts and detailing personalities and events. Nightmare , a more personalized narrative, is slightly more interesting reading. Both books accomplish the task of informing the reader of the great complexity of the issue and events (inadequate testing, complications of federal law) and of the role of the device's manufacturer, who, after nearly 11,000 lawsuits and more to come, still maintains that the complications could have occurred with any IUD. Perhaps increased awareness will prevent a similar disaster. Both titles should be in public libraries; Lord's Justice is for medical and legal collections as well. Nancy B. Burrell, M.L.S., IBID Inc., Sarasota, Fla.

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Gale Group
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