By Alexander Higgins
February 28, 2012
A paper recently published in the Journal of Medical Ethics says that parents should have the right to kill their newborn infants because infants are not people.
A paper in the The Journal of Medical Ethics, an international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals and researchers in medical ethics, argues that murdering newborn infants should be legalized.
The rational? “Infants are not people”.
After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?
Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.
- Department of Philosophy, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
- Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Correspondence to Dr Francesca Minerva, CAPPE, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia; firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributors AG and FM contributed equally to the manuscript.
Source: Journal of Medical Ethics
Gather weighs in:
Justifying the Murder of Infants
The authors of the study, Alberto Giubilini with Monash University in Melbourne and Francesca Minerva at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne argue that they “prefer the term “after-birth abortion” as opposed to “infanticide,” as the latter conjures up images of a child rather than a “fetus,” which does not have the moral equivalent to life than a baby.
The After-birth abortion would be justified in cases where, “the newborn would be putting the well-being of the family at risk.” They say, “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life.’ ”
Source: Gather News
The Blaze adds more detail:
Ethicists Argue in Favor of ‘After-Birth Abortions‘ as Newborns ’Are Not Persons’
The two are quick to note that they prefer the term “after-birth abortion“ as opposed to ”infanticide.” Why? Because it “[emphasizes] that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child.”
The authors also do not agree with the term euthanasia for this practice as the best interest of the person who would be killed is not necessarily the primary reason his or her life is being terminated. In other words, it may be in the parents’ best interest to terminate the life, not the newborns.
The circumstances, the authors state, where after-birth abortion should be considered acceptable include instances where the newborn would be putting the well-being of the family at risk, even if it had the potential for an “acceptable” life.
The authors cite Downs Syndrome as an example, stating that while the quality of life of individuals with Downs is often reported as happy, “such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.”
This means a newborn whose family (or society) that could be socially, economically or psychologically burdened or damaged by the newborn should have the ability to seek out an after-birth abortion.
They state that after-birth abortions are not preferable over early-term abortions of fetuses but should circumstances change with the family or the fetus in the womb, then they advocate that this option should be made available.
The authors go on to state that the moral status of a newborn is equivalent to a fetus in that it cannot be considered a person in the “morally relevant sense.” On this point, the authors write:
Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.
Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal.
Source: The Blaze
Does this mean we should also legalize after-incorporation abortions? After all, if infants aren’t people then corporations sure in the hell aren’t either.
Alexander Higgins is an independent journalist and frequent Intel Hub Contributor. You can visit his own blog at blog.alexanderhiggins.com