DES Info: DES (Diethylstilbestrol) was a unique drug?? It is a carcinogen and teratogen!
DES was a unique wonder drug in that it promised to prevent mishap, not merely to cure illness. Traditionally, medicine aims to restore the balance of nature by healing the sick and bringing the person back to its naturally healthy state.
DES may have been among the first modern medical substances that seemed likely to improve upon nature, to prevent natural defects and unwanted outcomes for occurring in the first place.
The shift in the 1950s and 1960s from prescribing DES only in problem pregnancies to using it routinely, even in normal pregnancies, reflects a change in attitude, though at the time no one appreciated how massive a shift this was. A significant medical error that resulted in a tragedy that spread around the world.
Medicine’s traditional goal – to assist the natural processes of live and healing was replaced with the notion that the forces of nature themselves are subject to control.
DES became a means by which life itself could be mastered.
The opposite occurred. DES has now affected three generations and the story is not yet over…….