W5’s Kevin Newman profiles the plight of the ‘sample babies’ -- Canadians who claim their mothers were given free samples of the morning sickness drug thalidomide in the late 1950s and early 60s.

The drug was later found to be responsible for birth defects among 10,000 babies worldwide, including more than 100 in Canada.

Most of the thalidomide victims receive compensation from the government and annual pensions to help them support themselves as they age. But the ‘sample babies’ can’t provide the documentation Ottawa insists is required for compensation. So they face a difficult future without the assistance others with similar deformities have.

Watch the episode in our video player above, available after 8 p.m. ET.


Genetic testing report on Noella Hebert:

Sworn affidavit by Michel O'Neil's mother:

Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada report on health problems of aging survivors: