Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 22 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1428
  • The proposal to replace the misleading term mongolism with Down's syndrome was made in a letter to the Lancet in 1961, almost a century after Langton Down published the first description of the condition. Judging by this biography, John Langdon Down—A Caring Pioneer (O C Ward, Royal Society of Medicine Press, £15.95, ISBN 1 85315 375 5), he deserved the honour of a medical eponym not only for his accurate clinical observations but for his lifelong campaigning for people with mental handicap. He and his wife established …

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