An inside look at the life of Dr. Jerome Lejeune

An inside look at the life of Dr. Jerome Lejeune

“Jerome Lejeune was not only a researcher. He was also a doctor. The human body was not only for him an object of experience; he never forgot that he was at the service of people in the unity of their mystery and their dignity,” said Bishop Aupetit during his visit to the Jerome Lejeune Foundation in France at the end of October.

A former doctor himself, the Archbishop of Paris stressed “the assiduity to work” and “perseverance” of Professor Lejeune, “which earned him to find the origin of trisomy 21”, in 1958. This discovery allowed parents of children with Down syndrome to know that their child’s disability is an accident and not an inherited disease. Subsequently, he discovered the cause of many other chromosomal diseases, paving the way for cytogenetics and modern genetics.

Seeking, caring and defending

Jerome Lejeune, whose cause of beatification and canonization was opened in June 2007, has never ceased to stand for life. His legacy continues today with the Jerome Lejeune Foundation, created and recognized as a nonprofit organization in 1996. Funded mainly by donations from individuals, the Foundation has three missions: to seek, treat and defend.

To respond to its research mission, “the Jerome Lejeune Institute manages a biological resource center and leads, as a sponsor or research center, many research projects to understand the causes of intellectual disability and related diseases, seek treatment to correct intellectual disability, increase independence and improve quality of life, “says the Foundation. Its second mission, to care for, goes through a multidisciplinary team – made up of doctors and specialized paramedical professionals – and offers a global and personalized medical care, throughout life, to more than 10,000 patients coming from all over France and even from abroad”.

“Mad medicine”

His last mission, the defense of life, is especially pertinent right now as the government must present its draft revision of bioethics laws in a few months. “Because the prenatal period has become one of the most dangerous in life, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation informs, educates, educates and alerts our society about the dignity of life, its value and the challenges it entails. the human future, “says the institution. Bishop Aupetit reminded, in this regard, that Jerome Lejeune “liked to say that medicine goes crazy if it attacks the patient instead of fighting against the disease, and to remember that, if technology is cumulative, wisdom is not.“

Originally published in French at 

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