|Written by Sherry|
|Friday, 16 November 2007 09:10|
Read this simply wonderful tribute to Jerome Lejeune, lay Catholic, brilliant geneticist, and champion of disabled children. Lejeune discovered the chromosone that causes Downs Sydrome but then realized that his discovery was being used to destroy the children he was attempting to help.
He realised that the great chromosome discovery would be misused in a ‘search and destroy’ technique for the aborting of trisomic babies. This danger and his mission to fight it came poignantly home to him when a tearful trisomic youngster flung himself into his arms and begged him to defend those like him still unborn. He told his genetics team: “I am going to undertake the duty of speaking publicly in defence of our sick…If I do not defend them, I betray them, I renounce what I have de facto become: their natural advocate.”
He was the leading light in establishing the World Federation of Doctors who Respect Human Life (from conception to death), Chairperson of Laissez-le Vivres (Let Them Live), President of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. He set up ‘The Houses of Tom Thumb’ for mothers tempted to abort because of materially difficult situations. He became a brilliant defender of human life on platforms, television and radio. Too brilliant for some; after one television programme, his wife overheard a studio executive say to a subordinate, “Lejeune? That swine! But what talent! He’s too good. Don’t invite him again.” Other forms of opposition included threatening graffiti, harassment of patients and labelling of them as ‘monsters’ and disease-carriers, the attempted wrecking of meetings.
What saddened him immensely was the abandonment by so many doctors of their pro-life oath-bound Hippocratic ethos. At an international medical conference on health in New York which was favouring the legalisation of abortion, he did not mince his words: “This Institute of Health in an Institute of Death.” That evening he wrote to his wife: “This afternoon I lost my Nobel Prize.”
What a man. I've tried to do research on him in the past but what I came up with was unsatisfactory. This is so much better!
Hat tip: Dawn Eden