Archive for disability rights

Meet Lucas, the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome

Posted in Down Syndrome with tags , , , , , on February 13, 2018 by saynsumthn
Image: Gerber selects first Baby with Down Syndrome in photo contest

Lucas Warren, an adorable baby with Down syndrome, has been selected as the newest Gerber Spokesbaby. The announcement came this morning on the TODAY Show and, according to the NBC show, “The 1-year-old from Dalton, Georgia, is the first child with Down syndrome to be named a Gerber baby since the contest’s start more than ninety years ago.”

Image of Gerber baby who has Down Syndrome

Lucas Warren, Gerber Spokesbaby

The iconic charcoal-sketched logo on Gerber’s packaging was originally a sketch of Ann Turner Cook at four months old. She became a Gerber baby in 1928, according to Inside Edition, and in 2016, Cook turned 90 years old. According to the baby food company, for the past several years, Gerber has held the annual photo contest where a panel of judges review entries to find, “children from birth to preschool age whose photos displayed expressiveness and consistency with Gerber’s heritage. Since the inception of Photo Search seven years ago, Gerber has awarded eight (twins in 2013) tiny tots the Photo Search crown.”

Image: Original Gerber Baby Ann Turner Cook

Original Gerber, Baby Ann Turner Cook

This year’s winning photo was submitted by the infant’s mother, Cortney Warren, who, according to the TODAY Show, “entered the Gerber contest on a whim, after a relative pointed out an ad seeking submissions. After posting a photo of Lucas on Instagram using the contest’s hashtag, Cortney and her husband, Jason, received the news that their son had been chosen from more than 140,000 entries to be the 2018 Gerber Spokesbaby.”

“He’s always been such a good baby. I’ve never met anyone to come into contact with Lucas and not smile,” Lucas’ proud mother said, “We didn’t actually find out he had Down syndrome until he was born…It’s never once changed how we felt about him, he was always our son.”

“He may have Down syndrome, but he’s always Lucas first,” Cortney added. “He’s got an awesome personality and he goes through the milestones of every child… we’re hoping when he grows up and looks back on this, he’ll be proud of himself and not ashamed of his disability.”

Image: Lucas Warren Gerber Spokesbaby

Lucas Warren, Gerber Spokesbaby

It was Lucas’ joy and his smile that convinced his parents to submit his photo. “I finally just decided to do it on a whim. I thought he was adorable and I felt well, maybe the world might,” Courtney said.

Lucas has won $50,000 that the family said will be used for his education, something that makes his father especially proud. “As a father, seeing your child exceed in life and go to school is something I’m looking forward to,” Jason said. “I just want him to look back and say…look at everything that I did.”

Bill Partyka, CEO and president of Gerber, told TODAY that Lucas’s smile and happy expression captured the hearts of the Gerber team. “Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby,” said Partyka. “This year, Lucas is the perfect fit.”

“We’re hoping this will impact everyone — that it will shed a little bit of light on the special needs community and help more individuals with special needs be accepted and not limited,” dad Jason Warren said. “They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else.”

Image: Gerber baby Lucas along with his parents on Today Show

Gerber baby Lucas along with his parents on Today Show

Lucas’ parents are hopeful that this will encourage the disability community to know they are just as valuable as everyone else.

“We are hoping Lucas looks back on it and feels proud,” said Courtney, “I hope it shines light to the special needs community showing that they are just like you and me. They should be accepted not based on their looks, but based on who they are.”

This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News

Euthanasia advocate only way to terminate suffering is to take away life

Posted in Euthanasia, Euthanesia with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2015 by saynsumthn

Rob Jonquière is a retired doctor and advocate on the so-called “End-of-Life choice.”

Rob Jonquiere SCCZEN_A_270215aw10bop_620x312

Jonquière started his career as a family doctor in the Netherlands.

In the 1970’s when euthanasia was illegal in the Netherlands, Jonquière says that he met patients with terminal diseases who asked him for euthanasia.

I did help a couple of my patients and, of course, the problem with that was that I could not talk about it with other people,” he said.

Jonquière went on to be the chief executive of the Dutch Right to Die Society, NVVE.

“I was involved in the development of the details of the bill right from the start, so I was very glad when in 2001 the parliament approved the bill and it became a law, effective from 2002.”

Dutch legalizes Euthenasia

After retiring from the Dutch Right to Die Society, Jonquière became the communications director and administrative secretary to the board of the umbrella organization, World Federation of Right to Die Societies.

Jonquiere has now agreed to help End of Life New Zealand raise the issue by talking about medically-assisted euthanasia legislation.

Rob Jonquiere 7423_6784562555858382301_n


His efforts are being opposed by groups such as Not Dead Yet , a grassroots group that opposes legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia as deadly forms of discrimination.

On their website, the disability rights group demands the equal protection of the law for the targets of so called “mercy killing” whose lives are seen as worth-less.


The group launched last month in New Zealand as Not Dead Yet Aotearoa (NDYA) writing in their press release that, “Disabled people want to have a good life. But too many of us lack the basic choices that our human dignity demands. That means many of us don’t feel at all secure and valued equally. But, ironically, society will happily provide us with the choice to die!

NDYA member Huhana Hickey is quoted as saying, “We’re seen as costly too, a drain on scarce public resources.”

Also in opposition to Jonquiere’s right to kill agenda are members of the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA).

President Mark Peterson says that right-to-die legislation is a slippery slope, “If you legalize voluntary euthanasia then you actually start to create the situation where there could be subtle and not so subtle pressure on patients to accept that as being their lot,” he said.

A New Zealand media outlet reports that Jonquiere said he did not know why disabled people had come out so strongly against the legislation.

Rob Jonquiere euthenasia image_thumb

In response, the euthanasia advocate made this alarming statement, Sometimes the only way to terminate the suffering is to take away the life.”

Calling it deliberate killing, Peterson said that NZMA members opposed voluntary euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide, “Just the straight-out ethical thing of doctors deliberately killing patients just doesn’t sit well with our members,” he said.

If the terms choice, drain on society, death with dignity, and mercy killing are familiar, that is because many on Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control League board in conjunction with the Eugenics Society helped found the first right-to-die organization back in 1938.

In fact, by 1952, Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger was open about her belief in Euthanasia. This 1952 letter from the Euthanasia Society of America clearly shows Margret Sanger on the American Advisory Board of the Euthanasia Society of America. Read more about Sanger and her supporters here.