Agent Orange and Birth Defects

  • Michael Gough


The warmth, vulnerability, and innocence of a baby make birth defects seem outrageously unfair. A baby does nothing to cause its impairment or deformity. Parents, racking their memories for what they might have done to have caused the disaster, react with self-blame and anger. Even the casual passerby is shaken by seeing an impaired child. Because no matter how much love is shared between parent and child, the passerby cannot look completely beyond the parents’ emotional burden and the child’s striving against frustration and pain. The parents, moreover, must sustain substantial monetary outlays, great enough to break many unassisted families, for medical care, schooling, special clothes and appliances.


Birth Defect Neonatal Death Spina Bifida Cleft Palate Vietnam Veteran 
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© Michael Gough 1986

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  • Michael Gough

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