Skip to comments.Ethicists call for killing of newborns to be made legal
Posted on 02/29/2012 11:57:06 AM PST by NYer
Professors from Milan and Oxford argue that 'foetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons'
Professors from Milan and Oxford argue that 'foetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons' (PA photo)
A leading British medical journal has published an article calling for the introduction of infanticide for social and medical reasons.
The article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, entitled After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? states in its abstract: After-birth abortion (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.
The article, written by Alberto Giubilini of the University of Milan and Francesca Minerva of Melbourne University, argues that foetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons and consequently a law which permits abortion for certain reasons should permit infanticide on the same grounds.
The article follows alleged instances of sex-selective abortions throughout Britain raising alarm concerning the application of the 1967 Abortion Act.
Lord Alton, co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, said that infanticide was the chilling and unassailable logical step for a society that permits killing a baby one day before birth.
He said: That the Journal of Medical Ethics should give space to such a proposition illustrates not a slippery slope, but the quagmire into which medical ethics and our wider society have been sucked.
Personal choice has eclipsed the sacredness, or otherness, of life itself. It is profoundly disturbing, indeed shocking, to see the way in which opinion-formers within the medical profession have ditched the traditional belief of the healer to uphold the sanctity of human life for this impoverished and inhumane defence of child destruction.
It has been said that a country which kills its own children has no future. Thats true. And a country which accepts infanticide or the killing of a little girl or a little boy because of their gender, the killing of a baby because of a disability, or the killing of a child because it is inconvenient, the wrong shape, or the wrong colour, also forfeits its right to call itself civilised.
But Julian Savulescu, the editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, has defended the publication of the paper on the British Medical Journal website. He said: “What is disturbing is not the arguments in this paper nor its publication in an ethics journal. It is the hostile, abusive, threatening responses that it has elicited. More than ever, proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.”
He continued: “As Editor of the Journal, I would like to defend its publication. The arguments presented, in fact, are largely not new and have been presented repeatedly in the academic literature and public fora by the most eminent philosophers and bioethicists in the world, including Peter Singer, Michael Tooley and John Harris in defence of infanticide, which the authors call after-birth abortion.
“The novel contribution of this paper is not an argument in favour of infanticide the paper repeats the arguments made famous by Tooley and Singer but rather their application in consideration of maternal and family interests. The paper also draws attention to the fact that infanticide is practised in the Netherlands.
“Many people will and have disagreed with these arguments. However, the goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view. It is to present well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises.”
Kenneth Boyd, associate editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, said that the publication of the paper did not reflect his personal view and that the article had gone through the process of academic peer review.
Mr Boyd said: I think what the authors are addressing is a minority problem following birth, where there would have been grounds for a termination and many people would feel that that circumstance is unfortunate but no reason for infanticide. But our feeling was that its better for these views to be discussed.
The authors, when discussing children with Downs Syndrome, state: To bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care. On these grounds the fact that a foetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion. Therefore… when circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissable.
The authors also support infanticide for non-medical reasons but do not state at which point in a babys development infanticide would no longer be permissable because it depends on the neurological development of newborns, which is something neurologists and psychologists would be able to assess.
“Professors from Milan and Oxford argue that ‘foetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons’”
Perhaps these “professors” do not have the same moral status as actual persons either.
But that's the WHOLE problem, Dr. Idiot. We don't have a "LIBERAL" society!!!
In fact, polls conducted in the US and in Great Britain indicate that a majority of citizens here and across the pond ARE CONSERVATIVES and a small majority (approx 12-20%) of these populations are liberal.
You're a minority, foisting your sick values on others and you wonder why we hate your guts?
All socialists believe this.. Might makes right.
It’s the reason that governments murder their citizens.
I tend to believe their religious observances were remarkably convenient given their preferences and proclivities:
kind of like moslems....
Why not? Let’s do it. Bring the evil out from the veil of the womb for all to see. Turn away from God, and it’s always the same logical conclusion for liberalism/socialism/communism: death camps, pogroms, murder. Let’s revel in it out in the sunshine.
I really want to curse here. It would rhyme with Duck Lew.
How is this child an unbearable burden??? Beautiful Nella Scroll down to see her blonde two-year-old precious girl.
As I just posted on a different thread, these idiots should be charged and convicted as accessaries to murder for supporting the killing of developing human beings. That would include teenagers being killed according to their ‘definition’. The charge and conviction would be more satisfactory in a state that allows capitol punishment.
We calling killing a born person ‘murder’ and it is punishable by the death penalty. This guy is an idiot and is the type of person we create laws to protect ourselves from.
This is the latest propaganda trick - saying your evil opponents want to kill you somehow is supposed to give you a moral boost and denigrate anyone who disagrees with you.
Journal of Moral Expedience
I vote we move anyone who is a so-called “ethicist” to the front of the line.
Of course because as a senator, Obama opposed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, an Illinois bill that was meant to provide protection for babies born alive after attempted abortions.
OMG, but those children are beautiful!
The authors of the paper are quite correct.
There is no logical reason for a moral distinction between the abortion of a fetus 10 minutes before birth and the killing of a newborn 10 minutes after birth.
These “people” need to understand that if they can dictate death for others, they, too, will be snuffed. After all, wasn’t it someone like Robespierre who was the last to go?
Be careful with your wording. I can assume you mean that the 10 minutes either way, before or after, is murder in both cases. If however, that is not your intended conclusion you are not worth the time it took to write this response.
There is no definition for “human life” anymore. That’s why people can get away with stuff like this and abortion and euthanasia and assisted suicide and forced sterilization and population control agendas and more.
My understanding is that the authors were specifically trying to point out that that abortion is murder, and murder is murder ala “A Modest Proposal” in which Jonathan Swift satirically proposed that the Irish eat their children. Unfortunately, everyone who has read it is assuming they really think people should have the right to a “post-birth abortion”, and are not getting the point they were intending to make which is: there is no distinction between abortion and murder, so if you allow one then ethically you must allow the other.