The famous medical geneticist, dr. Professor Endre Czeizel would be 87 years old on April 3. He was the editor and host of countless popular science-informative TV shows, the author of genetics books, and a regular subject of genetics-related interviews for many decades. Towards the end of his life, and even after his death, we could only meet his name in the columns of the tabloids
Not many people know dr. To present a biography similar to Endre Czeizel's life journey. This person, who is active to the end and has an unshakable work discipline, has perhaps achieved everything in his life that he wanted. It can be read from his biography that he was very conscious and goal-oriented even as a young man, which is why it is hard to believe that, according to his own admission, he just drifted into so many good and bad things.
Medical career, results
Endre Czeizel He was trained to be a soccer player, historian, and then an obstetrician. We would not think that there is a transition between these fields, but in any case, it is a good start to a twisty life path. His sports career was prevented by hepatitis, and the fact that he did not become the most famous obstetrician in the country was partially due to his decision to take a position at fifty-six.
In the 1970s, as a university lecturer and research doctor, I heard the news that genetics was given free rein in Hungarian medicine. For a long time, the National Institute of Public He alth and János Hospital II. he worked in the obstetrics department, in the former he introduced the concept of public he alth genetics and researched, in the latter he initially practiced obstetrics and later carried out counseling aimed at prevention.
Successfully operated the World He alth Organization Collaborating Center for Family Planning and Genetic Counseling. As the director general of the National He alth Protection Institute, he prepared the school application of the optional subject "Preparation for family life". As a professor at ELTE, he managed the professional preparation of university students and PhD students.
It is impossible to briefly summarize its results, so we only highlighted a few moments that we considered important. During his lifetime, Doctor Czeizel confessed which he was most proud of. Among them is the Optimal Family Planning Model, which, according to the press release of the institute bearing its name, is being relaunched in a modernized form.
His main work in this regard is the use of a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid and three other B vitamins in order to prevent congenital developmental disorders. He and István Dudás were the first to start in the world, 1992- to deal with the idea of folic acid supplementation around the time of conception. In addition to its educational role, Czeizel's research on the Optimal Family Planning Model was mostly about the successful test of a vitamin preparation, and this success had an impact on scientific life as a whole. He was awarded the prestigious Kennedy Prize in America for his research results.
The problem of folic acid supplementation of the population
The connection between folate deficiency and birth defects (to be precise, medullary tube blockage) has been known to medical science since 1964. However, the deficiency only became a widespread symptom later, the average amount of folic acid consumed by Europeans in the early 90s was 250 μg, so it did not reach the 400 μg level aimed at preventing esophageal occlusion disorders. In order for the population to benefit equally from the vitamin within a regulated framework, it became necessary to enrich corn and wheat flour with folic acid. The measure was first introduced in the United States of America and Canada in 1998, which was later joined by more than 60 countries. In the beginning, Hungary was also involved, but the initiative never received official support, even though Dr. Czeizel represented the matter wholeheartedly, and fought hard to ensure that everyone had access to vitamin B9.
The Blessing and Curse of Popularity
According to his own account, his name spread among news reporters, because he was the doctor whose statements were thought to be widely understood, and even fun to listen to due to his charismatic personality. Thanks to this, he got on the TV screen, where only those who were not alive at the time saw his informative series. We saw a total of 74 of his TV programs: The Secrets of Inheritance, The Secrets of Our Birth, Our Future secrets, Life is alive and wants to live and in the popular shows Secrets of our Genes, just to name a few.
This popularity opened up many opportunities for him,at the same time, the medical profession and the political background, to put it mildly, delicately took care of the framework of the professor's ambitions to assert himself. Until finally, one case overshadowed his entire career.
Trafficker or not
In 1996, an investigation was launched against the "Medical program promoting open adoption" written by Czeizel. At the end of the first three years, crowded with interrogations and court hearings, the first-instance court found the then 64-year-old geneticist guilty: he was convicted as an accessory to the crime of human trafficking. The court sentenced him to one year and six months in prison, and suspended the execution of the prison sentence for a two-year probationary period.
After that, another four years of fighting and public ordeal followed, before Czeizel's case won the final verdict at the Capital Court. The final judgment of the Board acquitted him of the charge of being an accessory to crime. He dismissed the charge of human trafficking,, that is, it was not with his help that Hungarian babies were offered to the United States in the hope of financial gain. In 2003, he was finally sentenced to HUF 200,000.
Thoroughly documented professional and personal life
Thanks to his wide-ranging work as a professional writer, more than 300 English-language scientific publications, 28 Hungarian educational publications and 17 scientific books have been published. Countless newspaper articles de alt with his life events, whether personal or professional. Even after fierce battle with terminal illness, he proofread his biographical, concluding interview book.
He worked very hard to shape his reputation, but his charisma, groundbreaking innovations and lifestyle made him a celebrated greatness in the eyes of the people, and a power-hungry or even unshakable, arrogant figure in his knowledge. His medical colleagues called him a TV clown, the press called him a child trafficker, but more widely, referring to the name Semmelweis, we remember him as the savior of fetuses.
Medical science and the mother of tens of thousands of children are certainly grateful by name to Dr. For Endre Czeizel.