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NEWS RELEASE May 1, 2003

Dr. Spock’s 100th Birthday Celebrated with Aid to Iraqi Children

Physicians Group Donates Medical Supplies and Soymilk in Honor of “Baby Doctor”

WASHINGTON—The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is honoring the life and work of the world’s most famous pediatrician, Dr. Benjamin Spock, by sending a relief convoy to Iraq. The doctors’ group is donating more than $10,000 worth of medical supplies to a children’s hospital in Baghdad and enough soymilk to feed up to 30,000 children. The donation commemorates what would have been Dr. Spock’s 100th birthday: Friday, May 2, 2003.

Dr. Spock is best known for Baby and Child Care, the best-selling secular book of all time. Benjamin Spock was a lifelong activist and member of PCRM’s advisory board until his death in 1998. He was a pacifist and disarmament proponent in addition to being an advocate for a non-dairy vegetarian diet for children. He discusses the problems a meat and dairy-based diet can cause in the 7th final edition of his best-selling book—a position PCRM also promotes through its many campaigns.

Mary Morgan, Dr. Spock’s widow, joins PCRM’s commemoration. “My husband wanted to be remembered for his work for peace, and this shipment to Iraq will bring relief to children in need while beautifully commemorating his life’s work,” she says. PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., is proud to work with Ms. Morgan and echoes her feelings. “They don’t make doctors like Ben anymore. He truly cared about kids, about peace, and about the best of health, and he practiced what he preached,” he says.

PCRM is sending a convoy that will include a 20-foot container of soymilk provided by Vitasoy, an international soy beverage company. Soymilk is suitable for lactose-intolerant persons, withstands high desert temperatures, and requires no refrigeration. PCRM will distribute the soymilk and medical supplies to hospitals in Baghdad. The medical supplies will include sutures, scalpels, intravenous equipment, and anesthesia, among other needed emergency items.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey

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