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HomeHealthAbraham Bergman, a Doctor Who Investigated Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Passes Away...

Abraham Bergman, a Doctor Who Investigated Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Passes Away at 91

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Dr. Abraham B. Bergman, a pediatrician who performed an important function within the passing of a federal regulation aimed toward combating sudden toddler demise syndrome, a beforehand misunderstood tragedy that brought on not solely parental heartbreak but in addition guilt and blame, and who additionally made his mark on different lasting public well being legal guidelines, handed away on Nov. 10 in Seattle. He was 91.

According to his son Ben, Dr. Bergman handed away on a member of the family’s boat because of amyloid coronary heart illness.

In the Nineteen Sixties and early ’70s, Dr. Bergman served as president of the National Foundation for Sudden Infant Death, a company that helped dad and mom who had misplaced youngsters to what was as soon as often known as crib demise. Even although SIDS, because it grew to become recognized, was the main reason for demise in infants lower than a yr outdated, its trigger was unknown. Parents typically blamed themselves, and this led to damaged marriages and, in some instances, accusations of kid abuse.

“What we do to those parents is crime,” Dr. Bergman informed The New York Times in 1972, additional emphasizing the police investigations, coroner’s inquests, and abandonment by household docs that usually occurred in these conditions.

Dr. Bergman’s group aimed to remove the stigma related to SIDS, present help to grieving dad and mom, and lift funding for analysis. Their advocacy in the end led to the passage of the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Act of 1974, which appropriated hundreds of thousands of {dollars} for analysis.

Dr. Bergman, who referred to his decades-long dedication to enhancing childhood well being as “political medicine,” testified in hearings on Capitol Hill on numerous points. He provided private anecdotes and reprimanded lawmakers for his or her lack of motion. He additionally labored behind the scenes as an unofficial lobbyist to advance laws. Building relationships with two influential U.S. senators from Washington State, Warren G. Magnuson and Henry M. Jackson, he was remarkably profitable as a personal citizen in influencing laws.

In 1967, Dr. Bergman took Mr. Magnuson to the burn unit of a Seattle youngsters’s hospital to point out him younger sufferers who had been critically injured in unintended fires. At a Senate subcommittee assembly led by Mr. Magnuson, Dr. Bergman shared a distressing incident involving a 2-year-old woman who suffered extreme burns, leading to Congress toughening the Flammable Fabrics Act to require extra flame-resistant clothes.

In 1970, Dr. Bergman proposed the thought for the National Health Service Corps to Mr. Magnuson. He additionally personally lobbied key members of Congress and took different strategic steps to advocate for this system, which later grew to become regulation in December 1970, signed by President Richard M. Nixon.

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