William (aka Bill the Godfather)

William (aka Bill the Godfather)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say

Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are “morally irrelevant” and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued.

The article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”. The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born.
Read the rest here.

Words fail me.

13 comments:

The Archer of the Forest said...

I think they tried this once. It was called eugenics. Worked well for the Nazis.

The Archer of the Forest said...

But, in all seriousness, why stop at babies? I know plenty of teenagers (adults for that matter) that fit into those definitions of "potential person."

That's truly disturbing that this is from an ethics panel.

Matushka Anna said...

My God.

123 said...

Well, they're right, killing babies is, in fact, no different from abortion. That is, they just acknoweldged that abortion is killing babies.

John Scott said...

This is not just an "ethics panel". This is an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics - mainstream, peer-reviewed, administered by the British Medical Journals Group and the Institute of Medical Ethics, which are keystones of UK (and global) medical education and publishing. I have not read the actual paper ($30 for 24 hours access), but, as the journal's editor states, the conclusions are "well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises". You can thank Princeton's Peter Singer for much of this, I suppose. The important point is that this is no joke - this is becoming mainstream in academia, and is the inevitable and logical extension of the ground we have covered since Roe v. Wade. The editor of the journal is quoted as saying: “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.” Eminent academics call critics of this kind of evil "fanatics" today. What will they be calling their critics in fifteen years? "Inmates"?

gabriel said...

There is an aspect of Communist optimism here: "the worse it gets, the better it is". Hopefully defending infanticide on the basis of the precedent of abortion hopefully undermines the abortion license.

Fr Theodore said...

When abortion on demand became legal, Christian prophets warned of this, and were called hysterical. The godly-minded said that if the basis of a pre-born child's "value" was whether or not it was wanted, it would lead inexorably to a devaluation of life in other circumstances. They were accused of being fear-mongers.

But we were right. And it will only get worse. Imagine: a living, breathing human person defined as having no "moral right to life." Who, now, will determine when some individual becomes an "actual person"? Academics?

God forbid. God forgive. God have mercy on us all.

Teena H. Blackburn said...

I wish this view was new, but it isn't. I've been discussing it in my ethics classes for years. Basically, the argument (very simplistic explanation, but here goes) is this: Humans are animals. We kill animals all the time. If we are not going to kill humans, it is generally because we consider them to be persons. What makes a person a person? Rationality, self-consciousness, and other such things are usually listed. If you have a human animal that lacks these things, why can't you give them less consideration (maybe even kill them) than you give full persons? As a matter of fact, the argument goes, some non-human animals may be more person-like than some humans, and therefore it may be wrong to kill them, but not humans who totally lack these qualities-although it is often conceded that in a culture like ours, infanticide is not necessary, and generally shouldn't be done because our culture finds it troubling. Mary Anne Warren, I think, argued this-that infanticide is not murder, because infants are not persons. Nonetheless, she says there are really no good reasons in a culture such as ours to commit infanticide. So, there's the argument. It's been going on in philosophical circles for decades-it's just that now it's getting out into the larger culture.

Teena H. Blackburn said...

So, you can have humans that are not persons-and therefore perhaps not entitled to the full considerations given to actual full persons. This is an argument for abortion as well-the woman is a full, actual person. The fetus is at best a potential person. Therefore, why should a fetus take precedence over a woman who does not want to be pregnant? There is also a famous argument in ethics books, called the unconscious violinist, that argues even if the fetus is a person, it is still OK to abort it. Judith Jarvis Thomson authored it. It is standard in undergrad ethics books.

David said...

I remember hearing somewhere that the pro-abort groups actually cannot stand Peter Singer. They understand that this sort of argument (legitimizing infanticide) will only undermine their own position in the public eye. Then again, we may be getting to the point culturally where even infanticide will be seen as a lifestyle choice.

Teena H. Blackburn said...

Well, the thing is, the arguments they give for abortion lead inevitably to infanticide. Ideas have consequences. If you can abort a fetus because it's not a person, then obviously a newborn infant is no more a person than it was 15 minutes or hours before it left the womb. The interesting (and horrifying) thing philosophically is to watch how many people are willing to bite the bullet and accept the logical consequences of their position.

Jason said...

This is the psychotic fruit of the "new" atheism. It's discussed all the time on their forums (Dawkins' board may leave you petrified).

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Nobody is a full human person until he fully resembles Jesus Christ.