Andreas Meyer
Ordinary Member of the Council
of the Contergan Foundation for People with Disabilities
Dohmengasse 7, 50829 Cologne
Telephone: 0221 / 9505101,Telefax: 0221 / 9505102
E-Mail: andreas.meyer.stiftungsrat@web.deTo all Contergan victims
and persons eligible for benefits
from the Contergan Foundation25.2.2015Information from Andreas Meyer, victims’ representative on the Council of the Contergan Foundation.
Dear fellow campaigners,This letter is to inform you of the following:The next meeting of the Council of the Foundation will take place on 22.4.2015 in Cologne at the Contergan Foundation, Sibylle-Hartmann-Str. 2-8, 50969 Cologne.The time is still to be announced by the Contergan Foundation itself.The Council Meeting is open to the public.As always, topics that are uncomfortable for the ministry representatives on the Council of the Foundation will be deal with in the closed part of the Council Meeting.Nevertheless, as many Contergan victims as possible should attend every Council Meeting.The more witnesses we have on our side, the less we can be cheated in the Council of the Foundation.The visitors to each Council Meeting should also take notes of the proceedings at the meeting.This is because the ministerial majority on the Council of the Foundation is again trying to get round the requirement for transparency of the Council Meetings that was provided for by the German Parliament (Bundestag), in that – at the last Council Meeting on 9.12.2014 – the ministerial majority resolved that only minutes of decisions should be kept in future and no longer any minutes of the proceedings. The intention here is to make it impossible to reconstruct the events and proceedings of every Council Meeting after the event.A further important topic at the next Council Meeting will be the vascular and nervous pathways study recommended by the University of Heidelberg. As many of you know, the University of Heidelberg has recommended that a study on vascular and nervous pathways should be conducted in the context of its own study, “Enquiries to be carried out repeatedly with regard to problems, specific needs and support deficits of Contergan victims”, because the interviews with Contergan victims carried out by the University of Heidelberg had shown that many of us have atypically-modified vascular and nervous pathways. This could lead to the danger that, for example, surgeons could accidently sever a nerve or blood vessel during an operation because the relevant blood vessel or nerve is located in a place where the surgeons had not expected to find it. Furthermore, heart attacks and aneurysms are frequently observed. In my personal case too, there were serious problems with my heart attack in 2012 because, due to the blood vessels in my limbs being so small, it was not possible to lay a heart catheter to stem the heart attack. For this reason I had to undergo a bypass operation shortly afterwards. In 2013, I suffered cardiac arrhythmias with atrial fibrillation as a consequence of the heart attack. Since the end of 2014, I have had a cardiac pacemaker. Many of us will also recall with sadness that two Contergan victims died as a result of heart attacks within a short space of time in 2014.Although such a vascular and nervous pathways study could be a genuine life-saver for all of us, a decision on my motion to the Council of the Contergan Foundation to conduct such a study has been delayed for months and repeatedly postponed for spurious reasons.It would appear that the people in the ministries and at Grünenthal are afraid that the conduct of such a vascular and nervous pathways study with the latest diagnostic imaging techniques could reveal a completely new picture of Contergan damages. This could have the result that the existing Contergan compensation must be completely re-thought because, on top of the already-known damages to limbs, organs and consequential late sequelae, this damage picture could add an ongoing acute risk to life. And that would be expensive!Already at the workshop on this study in Berlin on 8.10.2013, self-appointed experts endlessly tried to convince us that such a study was scientifically impossible. In particular, a sociologist tried to persuade us of this. Vascular specialists and cardiologists were absent from this workshop. Instead, an orthopaedist filled our ears at this workshop with a constantly repetitious lecture about the patient’s “right to ignorance”. It is noticeable that the so-called verbatim record of the workshop on the Contergan Foundation’s website is not a true transcript of the audio recording, because all the speakers were allowed to revise their contributions for the verbatim record so that the critical moments in the workshop were simply ironed out. For this reason, I have not authorised the inclusion of my verbatim contributions in this sanitised record as long as the Foundation fails to publish an original verbatim record of the transcript of the audio recording of the workshop.Therefore you should mistrust anybody who tries to persuade you that such a study is not necessary, not possible, or even harmful for us!This study is not about some doctor’s crazy idea for a research project!This study is about our health!This study is also aimed at developing procedures to avoid risks!Once it has been scientifically established that we could be subject to atypical vascular and nervous pathways, etc., we will no longer need to explain endlessly and repeatedly to clinics and doctors about the necessary special conditions of our treatment!This study must be conducted by scientists who are independent of the Contergan Foundation, because the close link between the Contergan Foundation and Grünenthal has now been sufficiently proved by the recent discovery of files on us, the Contergan and Grünenthal victims, at the Grünenthal company (see the website of the Contergan Foundation).The temporary funding of relevant examination procedures, such as MRI, etc., for example, through the special requirements of the Contergan Foundation must absolutely not be confused with such a study.For anyone else who has qualms, it must be said at this point that, as always, participation in any study is voluntary. There is no obligation to take part in such a study!You can find the wording of my motions to conduct a study on vascular and nervous pathways on the BCG website at the following link: can also read an press article on the above subject from “Die Zeit” on 15.6.2013 at the following link:
And finally, a so-called evaluation of Contergan Foundation Actaccording to §25 ContStifG is due this year. According to the provisions of this statute, the German Federal Government is obliged to submit a report to Parliament every two years on the effects of the Contergan Foundation Act as well as any necessary further improvement in its provisions.This requires discussion at the political level.I will be in Berlin for such discussions in the period from 2.3.2015 to 8.3.2015. In the event that more extensive discussions are required, I will prolong my stay in Berlin until 15.3.2015.If any of you are in Berlin during this period and would like to meet me, I can be contacted on my mobile phone:0172 / 2905974In addition, you can reach me by telephone as always from Mondays to Thursdays between 12:00 and 17:00 hrs. You can find my contact numbers on the BCG website and here:Telephone: 0221 / 9505101Fax: 0221 / 9505102I have also created a new heading on the BCG website with the German title “Informationen vom Stiftungsratsmitglied Andreas Meyer”. Under this heading I will publish information and documents from time to time arising from my work on the Council of the Contergan Foundation: my best wishesAndreas Meyer