I sometimes wonder about the future of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, asking myself if one night, the partying sun will not draw shut the golden sticks of its red fan over a completed work.
Two types of ends can be imagined. The first one is what progressist thinking would hope for: tomorrow, when disabled children will no longer be born, thanks to systematic antenatal screening tests, having become generalized and obligatory, there will no longer be a need for specialized consultations, nor research on how to cure them. The second one is imagined by a more conservative mind: tomorrow, when, at last, a treatment is found for, let’s say, children with Down Syndrome, the Foundation will have fulfilled its duty and will be able to step back. In other words, all problems will be solved, by either making all disabled people disappear, or by making disability disappear.
But life does not work like that. First, because even the most efficient screening technique will never prevent the birth of unexpected children. There will always be generous parents who will welcome children clever enough to hide their imperfect gene until the very end. Secondly, because unfortunately, going back to the example of Down Syndrome, I do not think that a technical solution, in this case the treatment that we wish to find, will overcome the madness of men.
We are living in a counter-civilisation which has let barbarism in. One only needs to look at abortion, which has becomes practically free and open to all, as well as all research on embryos, which has turned man into a lab rat to replace the animal. Now, with euthanasia you will get little girls saying: “I won’t be in school the day after tomorrow because my granny is being unplugged”.
It is the very nature of man which is being questioned. The real man is being sacrificed every day to the ideal man. Yesterday: race, today: genome, tomorrow: dignity and ability to happiness or any other kind of arbitrary conditions…
That is why I believe that the Foundation still has many days ahead. Under the dictatorship of a new world, which is being shaped within a more or less posthumanist mould, our descendants will have to face humanly very difficult and complex situations. Who will help them? Certainly not a medicine which wines and dines with the devil. Nor the moral and political elite which has chosen to go along with it rather than teach the truth.
Already, we are experiencing that the Jérôme Lejeune Insitute and Foundation, where we try to explain to the patients everything we do, are places inhabited with deep trust, renewed every day for twenty years by people who are always in need.
But there is also this feeling of terrible loneliness in a night that is getting darker and darker.
At least not completely... Thus, this young student lawyer, in a moot court competition, who defended people with Down Syndrome against the stigmatisation they had suffered from the French audiovisual council, and quoted Jérôme Lejeune as her grand finale. Wonderful impudence of life. There is in the sky the darkest of diamond scratches.
Jean-Marie Le Méné, president of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation - Twitter @jmlemene