Saturday, May 05, 2007

Staying true to his calling

From "Saintly scientists: Hate the disease, love the diseased," by Caroline Moynihan, writing about one of the fathers of modern genetics, the Frenchman Dr. Jerome Lejeune. She quotes the scientist, whose process for beatification has recently been opened:

"With their slightly slanting eyes, their little nose in a round face and their unfinished features, trisomic children are more child-like than other children. All children have short hands and short fingers; theirs are shorter. Their entire anatomy is more rounded, without any asperities or stiffness. Their ligaments, their muscles, are so supple that it adds a tender languor to their way of being. And this sweetness extends to their character: they are communicative and affectionate, they have a special charm which is easier to cherish than to describe. This is not to say that Trisomy 21 is a desirable condition. It is an implacable disease which deprives the child of that most precious gift handed down to us through genetic heredity: the full power of rational thought. This combination of a tragic chromosomic error and a naturally endearing nature, immediately shows what medicine is all about: hatred of disease and love of the diseased."

Read the whole thing at MercatorNet

1 comment:

John said...

When I first read this article, I thought it was beautiful.

When I reread it just now, I still think it's beautiful.

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