First-Ever U.S. Hospital for Down Syndrome Patients

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by Anita Carey  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  May 23, 2017   

Servant of God Jerome Lejeune: "Before God and men we bear witness that for us every human being is a person"

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RESTON, Va. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The United States will be getting its first hospital dedicated to helping Down Syndrome patients. 

On May 18, the pro-life Jerome Lejeune Foundation announced they will be building a second multidisciplinary hospital, modeled after the first Jerome Lejeune Institute in France. The site is, as of yet, unspecified. 

The hospital will offer comprehensive health care, meeting not only the patient's medical and therapeutic needs, but additional needs such as dietary, speech and psychological care. The announcement explains, "By housing a diverse range of medical specialists, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation USA aims to provide the most holistic care possible to its future Down syndrome patients."

We must always be on the patient's side, always.

Jerome Lejeune was a Catholic French physician credited with discovering Trisomy 21, the extra chromosome on the 21st pair of chromosomes causing Down Syndrome. Moved by compassion for the parents of the children and horrified by his peers' absurdity in prescribing abortion as the "cure," Lejeune dedicated his life to working with patients and finding a cure.

"Medicine becomes mad science when it attacks the patient instead of fighting the disease. We must always be on the patient's side, always," he said.

 
 
Lejeune's work helped to establish prenatal diagnostic tests for genetic abnormalities, which ultimately led to the aborting of babies diagnosed with the condition. As a devout Catholic, Lejeune was distressed by this and began his pro-life advocacy. He gave many talks in the 1970s opposing abortion and eugenics, a highly unpopular opinion at the time and one costing him awards and accolades.
 
Lejeune said:
People say, "The price of genetic diseases is high. If these individuals could be eliminated early on, the savings would be enormous!" It cannot be denied that the price of these diseases is high — in suffering for the individual and in burdens for society. Not to mention what parents suffer! But we can assign a value to that price: It is precisely what a society must pay to remain fully human. 
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Pope St. John Paul II with Jerome Lejeune

After one such talk in 1975, he was introduced to Cdl. Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope St. John Paul II). After John Paul's election, Lejeune regularly traveled to Rome to meet with him, even participating in the 1987 Synod of Bishops on the Role of the Laity. John Paul wanted Lejeune to head the newly formed Pontifical Academy for Life (PAL), and Lejeune subsequently meticulously drafted bylaws and a pro-life oath. Professing the Declaration of the Servants of Life was a requirement for appointment to the PAL, reading in part, "Before God and men we bear witness that for us, every human being is a person."
 
Lejeune did serve as the first president of the PAL but for only a few weeks before his death in 1994. Pope St. John Paul II declared him a Servant of God in 2007, and his Positio was just delivered to the Vatican on May 5, 2017. A miracle is needed to advance his cause to sainthood.
 

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Down Syndrome patient with Jerome Lejeune
In 2016, Pope Francis eliminated the requirement for the signed oath of PAL appointees, as well as dismissing all of the staff and current members. PAL is now headed by Msgr. Vincenzo​ Paglia, who approved an immoral sex-ed program.      
 
Most modern medicine offers little hope to parents of children with Down Syndrome or other types of neurologic diseases, often prescribing abortion or euthanasia. In Iceland, for example, 100 percent of pre-born babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted, with a worldwide rate of 90 percent aborted. The assisted suicide movement is joining the efforts to "cure" children and adults with intellectual disabilities, recommending that they are better off dead. A U.K. mother was hailed a "hero" for killing her 12-year-old disabled daughter by refusing her fluids.    
Abortion laws are changing to protect pre-born children with disabilities. North Dakota was the first state to ban targeting unborn babies with disabilities for elimination. Vice President Mike Pence, while he was governor of Indiana, signed into law protections based on race, sex and disability of the unborn. Oklahoma is the third state to enact protections for disabled babies, and the Texas legislature is fighting to enact laws before its session ends in just days before a two-year recess. 
 
A recent editorial written by Jean-Marie Le Méné, president of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, decries the censure of a short video showcasing the goodness of life with Down Syndrome.
 
"Not in popular China under Mao, but in France in 2017 to give out information likely to dissuade a woman from abortion is on the verge of becoming a crime punishable by a fine and time in prison," Le Méné writes. "I am not sure the world realizes the seriousness of the meaning of this crime sanctuarization and of the presumption of guilt for anyone opposed to abortion."
 
Unapologetic for the foundation's pro-life stance, he concludes, "Forgive us for listening to those who cry, who suffer or are afraid. Forgive us for reassuring them, accompanying them, helping them. Forgive us also for sometimes managing to dissuade people from carrying out an unrepairable [sic] deed."
 
The Jerome Lejeune Foundation is offering parents an entire team of doctors and resources to provide all of the necessary care to help these children have a productive life. The foundation's hospital is anticipating opening its doors and welcoming its first patients in 2020. 

 

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