And now calls for “After-Birth Abortions”

If there is no difference between a fetus in the womb and a new born baby, it should follow that neither should be killed.  But, granting the scientific evidence demonstrating the continuity of life, some “ethicists” and pro-abortion fanatics are coming to a different conclusions:  Since we can abort fetuses, we should also be able to “abort” new-born infants.  So says an article in one of the most influential journals in medical ethics:

Two ethicists working with Australian universities argue in the latest online edition of the Journal of Medical Ethics that if abortion of a fetus is allowable, so to should be the termination of a newborn.

(Update: ‘Journal of Medical Ethics’ stands by publication of ‘after-birth abortions’ article.  [Follow the links to read the editors' defense of these ideas.])

Alberto Giubilini with Monash University in Melbourne and Francesca Minerva at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne write that in “circumstances occur[ing] after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.”

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.

Giubilini and Minerva believe that being able to understand the value of a different situation, which often depends on mental development, determines personhood. For example, being able to tell the difference between an undesirable situation and a desirable one. They note that fetuses and newborns are “potential persons.” The authors do acknowledge that a mother, who they cite as an example of a true person, can attribute “subjective” moral rights to the fetus or newborn, but they state this is only a projected moral status.

The authors counter the argument that these “potential persons” have the right to reach that potential by stating it is “over-ridden by the interests of actual people (parents, family, society) to pursue their own well-being because, as we have just argued, merely potential people cannot be harmed by not being brought into existence.”

via Ethicists Argue for Acceptance of After-Birth Abortions | TheBlaze.com.

The journal article is available here.

Monsters walk among us.

The weaknesses of the arguments are flabbergasting.  They don’t think infants can tell the difference between an undesirable situation and a desirable one?  They don’t think infants know when they are being deprived of something?  Have these ethicists ever tried taking a bottle away from a baby?  And this is their definition of personhood?

This should also weaken the public’s confidence in the hospital  “ethics panels” that we are supposed to trust when Obamacare kicks in.  Presumably the expert ethicists on those panels will be readers of the Journal of Medical Ethics .

Will this be the next pro-life  battle, trying to stop the murder of infants?

HT:  Joanna

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, it will certainly provide a good argument for closing down VA hospitals and eliminating military field hospitals. If a solider is too wounded to make it back on his own, or with minimal assistance, then he’s too much of a burden on his fellows and on the rest of society. He should simply be left to die.

    Old people should be educated on their moral obligation to refuse any medical treatment after the age of 70. They are dangerous and burdensome – even if they can afford to pay for care, they should transfer their wealth to the state so that it can be used for better purposes.

    But why stop at infancy? Should not the rights, duties and responsibilities of thepater familias be restored and upheld? No one under the age of eighteen should have the right to life, but rather viewed as a forbearance that may be rescinded at the will of the head of household. And what do we do with all these women giving birth to children with physical and mental defects? Husbands should have the right to terminate the marriage and the inconvenient child by simply stopping the beating heart of the mother, killing two birds with one stone, and saving society much grief over the long term.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, it will certainly provide a good argument for closing down VA hospitals and eliminating military field hospitals. If a solider is too wounded to make it back on his own, or with minimal assistance, then he’s too much of a burden on his fellows and on the rest of society. He should simply be left to die.

    Old people should be educated on their moral obligation to refuse any medical treatment after the age of 70. They are dangerous and burdensome – even if they can afford to pay for care, they should transfer their wealth to the state so that it can be used for better purposes.

    But why stop at infancy? Should not the rights, duties and responsibilities of thepater familias be restored and upheld? No one under the age of eighteen should have the right to life, but rather viewed as a forbearance that may be rescinded at the will of the head of household. And what do we do with all these women giving birth to children with physical and mental defects? Husbands should have the right to terminate the marriage and the inconvenient child by simply stopping the beating heart of the mother, killing two birds with one stone, and saving society much grief over the long term.

  • Pete

    The slope gets slipperier

  • Pete

    The slope gets slipperier

  • SKPeterson

    We should also probably institute a decennial “Continuance of Life” tax in conjunction with the census. It will probably get some snappy phrase like “Pay to Stay” in the press, though.

  • SKPeterson

    We should also probably institute a decennial “Continuance of Life” tax in conjunction with the census. It will probably get some snappy phrase like “Pay to Stay” in the press, though.

  • Michael B.

    “Presumably the expert ethicists on those panels will be readers of the Journal of Medical Ethics .”

    This article sounds very representative of the journal’s readership, and is in no way a fringe opinion, nor written tongue-in-cheek. Thus, we should all be scared of all medical ethicists.

    By the way, abortion policy was never decided in America because it was established a fetus wasn’t a person. The pro-choice policy was established because of a right of privacy, and that the state can’t force gestation on a woman. Read Roe vs. Wade. At no point is a fetus declared not to be a person.

  • Michael B.

    “Presumably the expert ethicists on those panels will be readers of the Journal of Medical Ethics .”

    This article sounds very representative of the journal’s readership, and is in no way a fringe opinion, nor written tongue-in-cheek. Thus, we should all be scared of all medical ethicists.

    By the way, abortion policy was never decided in America because it was established a fetus wasn’t a person. The pro-choice policy was established because of a right of privacy, and that the state can’t force gestation on a woman. Read Roe vs. Wade. At no point is a fetus declared not to be a person.

  • Joe

    I am saddened to read this, but Peter Singer (professor of bioethics at Princeton) has been advocating that society and/or parents have the right to kill disabled babies for a long time. I was forced to read his garbage in college. Sadly, it is seems that others are getting on board with his thinking.

    I would note that Singer is also Australian …

  • Joe

    I am saddened to read this, but Peter Singer (professor of bioethics at Princeton) has been advocating that society and/or parents have the right to kill disabled babies for a long time. I was forced to read his garbage in college. Sadly, it is seems that others are getting on board with his thinking.

    I would note that Singer is also Australian …

  • kerner

    I wonder how they would react if someone were to suggest that the existence of people like Mr. Giubilini and Ms. Minerva are an undue burden on society and should be considered prime candidates for “after birth abortion” themselves?

    This simply proves the direct link between abortion rights advocates, the eugenics movement, and the Nazi death camps. At the root, its all about deciding who is fit to live and who should the “fit” people dispose of.

  • kerner

    I wonder how they would react if someone were to suggest that the existence of people like Mr. Giubilini and Ms. Minerva are an undue burden on society and should be considered prime candidates for “after birth abortion” themselves?

    This simply proves the direct link between abortion rights advocates, the eugenics movement, and the Nazi death camps. At the root, its all about deciding who is fit to live and who should the “fit” people dispose of.

  • kerner

    One more thing. I have often argued to abortion advocates that their criteria that a fetus should be abortable, because “it cannot live on its own” is a joke, because new born babies cannot really “live on their own” either. Without care from their parents, newborns would die almost as quicky as fetuses.

    Little did I know that a couple of Australians would seize upon that fact as a basis to say we should kill our newborns too.

  • kerner

    One more thing. I have often argued to abortion advocates that their criteria that a fetus should be abortable, because “it cannot live on its own” is a joke, because new born babies cannot really “live on their own” either. Without care from their parents, newborns would die almost as quicky as fetuses.

    Little did I know that a couple of Australians would seize upon that fact as a basis to say we should kill our newborns too.

  • Rose

    Peter Singer at Princeton has been advocating this for years.
    I wonder why the concept of QALY–Quality Adjusted Life Years–doesn’t get more ink. It’s the metric for determining care in Obamacare. Apparently some of us will now have a QALY score of zero.

  • Rose

    Peter Singer at Princeton has been advocating this for years.
    I wonder why the concept of QALY–Quality Adjusted Life Years–doesn’t get more ink. It’s the metric for determining care in Obamacare. Apparently some of us will now have a QALY score of zero.

  • kerner

    Michael B, you said:

    “Read Roe vs. Wade. At no point is a fetus declared not to be a person.”

    Maybe not, but such a declaration doesn not have to be expressly made. It is frequently the duty of the Supreme Court to balance the constitutional rights of different individual persons, or groups of persons. By restricting its analysis to the privacy rights of pregnant women without balancing that right against the right of the unborn children to survive, the underlying assumption must be that the unborn children are not persons who (by our definition of “person”) have a right to life of which they cannot be deprived without due process of law..

  • kerner

    Michael B, you said:

    “Read Roe vs. Wade. At no point is a fetus declared not to be a person.”

    Maybe not, but such a declaration doesn not have to be expressly made. It is frequently the duty of the Supreme Court to balance the constitutional rights of different individual persons, or groups of persons. By restricting its analysis to the privacy rights of pregnant women without balancing that right against the right of the unborn children to survive, the underlying assumption must be that the unborn children are not persons who (by our definition of “person”) have a right to life of which they cannot be deprived without due process of law..

  • Joe

    Kerner – don’t give Michael too much credit for having actually read Roe. Viability is part of the Roe analysis. The Roe court balanced the right to privacy (i.e. have an abortion) against the states’ interest in protecting prenatal life. The Court held that the states interest got stronger as the baby moved along the viability spectrum. Thus, viability is already part of the analysis of the legality of abortion. Roe defined viability as: “potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid.” Changing this definition could change the analysis. If viability were defined to exclude artificial aid, then it would be possible to justify post-birth abortion under the general framework of Roe.

  • Joe

    Kerner – don’t give Michael too much credit for having actually read Roe. Viability is part of the Roe analysis. The Roe court balanced the right to privacy (i.e. have an abortion) against the states’ interest in protecting prenatal life. The Court held that the states interest got stronger as the baby moved along the viability spectrum. Thus, viability is already part of the analysis of the legality of abortion. Roe defined viability as: “potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid.” Changing this definition could change the analysis. If viability were defined to exclude artificial aid, then it would be possible to justify post-birth abortion under the general framework of Roe.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I was going to point out this article is nothing new, but somebody already brought up Peter Singer.

    I think people are going way overboard concerning this article by seeing it as a source of outrage. The Journal of Medical Ethics is a glorified debate magazine. It preforms a more scholarly version of this blog. Authors submit articles and then they debate them. They have made their arguments and now they wait for the counterpoints.

    What this isn’t is a chicken little sky is falling moment that pro-life sites are making it out to be. Yes, these ethicists need to be refuted. Really this article is a goldmine for pro-life proponents because it very logically shows the end point of the ethics of a society that allows children en utero to be killed because of quality of life issues. They have made it easier for us to avoid the slippery slope argument because we can point to people outside of our camp who are saying the very thing we have been trying to point out.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I was going to point out this article is nothing new, but somebody already brought up Peter Singer.

    I think people are going way overboard concerning this article by seeing it as a source of outrage. The Journal of Medical Ethics is a glorified debate magazine. It preforms a more scholarly version of this blog. Authors submit articles and then they debate them. They have made their arguments and now they wait for the counterpoints.

    What this isn’t is a chicken little sky is falling moment that pro-life sites are making it out to be. Yes, these ethicists need to be refuted. Really this article is a goldmine for pro-life proponents because it very logically shows the end point of the ethics of a society that allows children en utero to be killed because of quality of life issues. They have made it easier for us to avoid the slippery slope argument because we can point to people outside of our camp who are saying the very thing we have been trying to point out.

  • kerner

    Joe & Dr. L:

    You are both right, of course.

    The biological fact is that human young cannot reliably be expected to survive without “artificial aid” until they ar well into their teens, even in primitive societies. This is is a much longer period of dependence than any other species on earth (many species do not care for their offspring at all).

    The moral question is whether the parents’ position is one of ownership or responsibility. Many cultures have allowed parents to treat their children as property and kill them. Our high degree of emphasis on a parent’s responsibility to care for and raise the parent’s children is a unique feature on Christian culture.

  • kerner

    Joe & Dr. L:

    You are both right, of course.

    The biological fact is that human young cannot reliably be expected to survive without “artificial aid” until they ar well into their teens, even in primitive societies. This is is a much longer period of dependence than any other species on earth (many species do not care for their offspring at all).

    The moral question is whether the parents’ position is one of ownership or responsibility. Many cultures have allowed parents to treat their children as property and kill them. Our high degree of emphasis on a parent’s responsibility to care for and raise the parent’s children is a unique feature on Christian culture.

  • mikeb

    I shared this story yesterday with a friend who is the father of a most wonderful Child of God that was born with Down Syndrome. It’s particularly sad that so many DS babies are aborted so that parent’s aren’t burdened with a special needs child. Here’s what he wrote back–and it’s much better stated than I could have said:

    “I predicted this over 10 yrs ago — that the line of permissible infanticide would be moved older and older until it is well past the point of birth. After all, two-yr-old little monsters impose more emotional distress than most any other humans at any other stage (for gutless parents, that is). This is, of course, completely logical in a post-Christian, atheistic, evolutionary view of human existence, where there is no meaning and therefore no value.”

  • mikeb

    I shared this story yesterday with a friend who is the father of a most wonderful Child of God that was born with Down Syndrome. It’s particularly sad that so many DS babies are aborted so that parent’s aren’t burdened with a special needs child. Here’s what he wrote back–and it’s much better stated than I could have said:

    “I predicted this over 10 yrs ago — that the line of permissible infanticide would be moved older and older until it is well past the point of birth. After all, two-yr-old little monsters impose more emotional distress than most any other humans at any other stage (for gutless parents, that is). This is, of course, completely logical in a post-Christian, atheistic, evolutionary view of human existence, where there is no meaning and therefore no value.”

  • Orianna Laun

    I suppose it would help the case of the St. Louis mother. http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/mother-who-abandoned-newborn-in-ellisville-is-charged-with-felonies/article_83c44c89-db82-5ac5-8866-2c5b304009bb.html
    She had concealed the pregnancy and then shortly after giving birth ran outside and left the baby under a tree. She has been charged with felonies of child abandonment and child endangerment. Under “after-birth abortion” would she be legally charged with anything, or would she still be because she didn’t follow prescribed channels?
    It is very dishearting to know there are so many people who want babies and can’t have them, but those who can and don’t want them would rather kill them.

  • Orianna Laun

    I suppose it would help the case of the St. Louis mother. http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/mother-who-abandoned-newborn-in-ellisville-is-charged-with-felonies/article_83c44c89-db82-5ac5-8866-2c5b304009bb.html
    She had concealed the pregnancy and then shortly after giving birth ran outside and left the baby under a tree. She has been charged with felonies of child abandonment and child endangerment. Under “after-birth abortion” would she be legally charged with anything, or would she still be because she didn’t follow prescribed channels?
    It is very dishearting to know there are so many people who want babies and can’t have them, but those who can and don’t want them would rather kill them.

  • Jon

    “[M]ental development, determines personhood. For example, being able to tell the difference between an undesirable situation and a desirable one.”

    Look out everyone: liberals, conservatives, grandma, rebellious teens, alcoholics, straights, queers, bipolar–everyone.

    You fate is in the hands of the arbiter who will decide whether you know what is good or bad for you!

    At least these killers are being honest about the real rationale–fetus are humans, and the extermination decision turns on their burden on the “me person” and not on the target human.

  • Jon

    “[M]ental development, determines personhood. For example, being able to tell the difference between an undesirable situation and a desirable one.”

    Look out everyone: liberals, conservatives, grandma, rebellious teens, alcoholics, straights, queers, bipolar–everyone.

    You fate is in the hands of the arbiter who will decide whether you know what is good or bad for you!

    At least these killers are being honest about the real rationale–fetus are humans, and the extermination decision turns on their burden on the “me person” and not on the target human.

  • Mike

    I agree with Dr. Luther

    And would add that this is a clarifying moment. What cover the abortionists might have had is being removed by this proposal .

  • Mike

    I agree with Dr. Luther

    And would add that this is a clarifying moment. What cover the abortionists might have had is being removed by this proposal .

  • Med Student

    I’d like to point out that unless Obamacare provisions are actually changing the current function of ethics boards (which is possible; I don’t know), the ethics panels Dr. Veith seems concerned about function in an advisory capacity only. They make recommendations to the families/healthcare teams; they don’t lay down the law. The idea is to make a recommendation and then counsel the parties involved until agreement can be reached. If no agreement can be reached, the courts might become involved. Also, “expert ethicists”, or professional ethicists, only make up a part of ethics boards. Also involved are physicians, nurses, chaplains, community members, etc, who are unlikely to be reading ethics journals. Even if they are, there is no guarantee that they agree with all the articles published in them.
    Obviously what the authors of this particle article propose is extremely disturbing, although it’s also a logical outcome of the idea that being human and being a person are somehow not the same thing, which is what abortionists have already been arguing. I think it would be a good idea to drive this point home to people who defend abortion but would be horrified by infanticide: infanticide is the logical next step to abortion if humanity and personhood are not inextricably linked. So people must either decide that abortion is in fact killing a person, or that infanticide is killing a non-person and is therefore okay.

  • Med Student

    I’d like to point out that unless Obamacare provisions are actually changing the current function of ethics boards (which is possible; I don’t know), the ethics panels Dr. Veith seems concerned about function in an advisory capacity only. They make recommendations to the families/healthcare teams; they don’t lay down the law. The idea is to make a recommendation and then counsel the parties involved until agreement can be reached. If no agreement can be reached, the courts might become involved. Also, “expert ethicists”, or professional ethicists, only make up a part of ethics boards. Also involved are physicians, nurses, chaplains, community members, etc, who are unlikely to be reading ethics journals. Even if they are, there is no guarantee that they agree with all the articles published in them.
    Obviously what the authors of this particle article propose is extremely disturbing, although it’s also a logical outcome of the idea that being human and being a person are somehow not the same thing, which is what abortionists have already been arguing. I think it would be a good idea to drive this point home to people who defend abortion but would be horrified by infanticide: infanticide is the logical next step to abortion if humanity and personhood are not inextricably linked. So people must either decide that abortion is in fact killing a person, or that infanticide is killing a non-person and is therefore okay.

  • Grace

    The Journal of Medical Ethics is from London. It is an international journal, not necessarily reflecting the beliefs and standards of the United States, or the American Medical Ass.

  • Grace

    The Journal of Medical Ethics is from London. It is an international journal, not necessarily reflecting the beliefs and standards of the United States, or the American Medical Ass.

  • trotk

    Grace, what exactly is the American Medical Ass?

  • trotk

    Grace, what exactly is the American Medical Ass?

  • Grace

    trotk inquires: Grace, what exactly is the American Medical Ass?”

    About the American Medical Association (AMA)

    “Since 1847 the American Medical Association (AMA) has had one mission: to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health. Today, the core strategy used to carry out this mission is our concerted effort to help doctors help patients. We do this by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional and public health issues.

    In 2011 our strategic plan focuses on five areas that encompass the central elements in health system reform:

    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama.page

  • Grace

    trotk inquires: Grace, what exactly is the American Medical Ass?”

    About the American Medical Association (AMA)

    “Since 1847 the American Medical Association (AMA) has had one mission: to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health. Today, the core strategy used to carry out this mission is our concerted effort to help doctors help patients. We do this by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional and public health issues.

    In 2011 our strategic plan focuses on five areas that encompass the central elements in health system reform:

    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama.page

  • http://princetonlutherans.com jgernander

    In response to Med Student: As a pastor I have been present at end-of-life “consultations” in which an “ethicist” spoke to the family. I can assure you that — in my experience — to a hurting family confronted with an “expert in the field,” in no way are they under the impression that they are simply advisory; in no way is the family on equal footing. In my experience, they are made to feel selfish and unloving — and ignorant — if they don’t do what the “ethicist” says they ought to do for the sake of the loved one who cannot speak for him/herself.

    My $.02.

    Pastor Jerry Gernander (ELS)
    Princeton, Minnesota

  • http://princetonlutherans.com jgernander

    In response to Med Student: As a pastor I have been present at end-of-life “consultations” in which an “ethicist” spoke to the family. I can assure you that — in my experience — to a hurting family confronted with an “expert in the field,” in no way are they under the impression that they are simply advisory; in no way is the family on equal footing. In my experience, they are made to feel selfish and unloving — and ignorant — if they don’t do what the “ethicist” says they ought to do for the sake of the loved one who cannot speak for him/herself.

    My $.02.

    Pastor Jerry Gernander (ELS)
    Princeton, Minnesota

  • Pingback: After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? Or, why should ANYONE live? | Athanatos Christian Apologetics Ministry

  • Pingback: After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? Or, why should ANYONE live? | Athanatos Christian Apologetics Ministry

  • trotk

    Grace, in what way is the American Medical Ass different than the American Medical Mule or the American Medical Horse?

  • trotk

    Grace, in what way is the American Medical Ass different than the American Medical Mule or the American Medical Horse?

  • Med Student

    Pastor Gernander,
    I have no doubt that is often the case (unfortunately). The ideal, of course, is that the ethics committee is an adviser only and that the family feels their viewpoints are equally important. I don’t have any personal experience like you do though, so it saddens me that this is not always the case.

  • Med Student

    Pastor Gernander,
    I have no doubt that is often the case (unfortunately). The ideal, of course, is that the ethics committee is an adviser only and that the family feels their viewpoints are equally important. I don’t have any personal experience like you do though, so it saddens me that this is not always the case.

  • formerly just steve

    Medical ethicists aren’t required to be able to practice either. Medicine or ethics. In many cases, they only require a bachelors in bioethics. Just saying.

  • formerly just steve

    Medical ethicists aren’t required to be able to practice either. Medicine or ethics. In many cases, they only require a bachelors in bioethics. Just saying.

  • http://www.makingmarriagebetter.net S. Matthew King

    A minimalist observation/prediction: Soylent Green.

  • http://www.makingmarriagebetter.net S. Matthew King

    A minimalist observation/prediction: Soylent Green.

  • The Jones

    I am amazed at the Medical Ethics community that even thought an article as inane (and evil) as this is worthy for publication.

    Something incredible that the entire argument hinges upon is the definition of what a person is. In the article, they explicitly state

    “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. This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons. 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.”

    So, a duck is a person (because it obviously tries to escape from hunters when it sees them) but an infant is not (because it can’t really recognize undesirable circumstances). This is stupid. These are not smart people. They are not smart and evil, they are dumb and evil.

    Also, by this definition a sleeping person would not be a person since they can’t distinguish between desireable and undesirable circumstances in their sleep. The “philosophers” who wrote this article could counter with “Yeah, but if you just wait a little while, they will soon be a person, so it’s not fair to make a silly distinction like that.” But then again, the same could be said for an infant.

    While many are making the good and obvious point that this article and its argument are despicable, I think it should also be pointed out how stupid it is that these people are respected enough to be called philosophers or be published in a peer reviewed journal.

  • The Jones

    I am amazed at the Medical Ethics community that even thought an article as inane (and evil) as this is worthy for publication.

    Something incredible that the entire argument hinges upon is the definition of what a person is. In the article, they explicitly state

    “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. This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons. 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.”

    So, a duck is a person (because it obviously tries to escape from hunters when it sees them) but an infant is not (because it can’t really recognize undesirable circumstances). This is stupid. These are not smart people. They are not smart and evil, they are dumb and evil.

    Also, by this definition a sleeping person would not be a person since they can’t distinguish between desireable and undesirable circumstances in their sleep. The “philosophers” who wrote this article could counter with “Yeah, but if you just wait a little while, they will soon be a person, so it’s not fair to make a silly distinction like that.” But then again, the same could be said for an infant.

    While many are making the good and obvious point that this article and its argument are despicable, I think it should also be pointed out how stupid it is that these people are respected enough to be called philosophers or be published in a peer reviewed journal.

  • rlewer

    Med student, et al
    A medical ethics committee is different from a committee which decides what will be paid for and therefore what will be done.

    However, this is not unique to coming Obamacare. It can also be decided by insurance companies.

    It seems that someone just decide what procedures are economically viable in relation to the likely outcome. How much should we spend to keep someone alive and suffering for another week? Can we afford every possible procedure that anyone might need? How do we decide? Not easy decisions, but a whole different topic.

  • rlewer

    Med student, et al
    A medical ethics committee is different from a committee which decides what will be paid for and therefore what will be done.

    However, this is not unique to coming Obamacare. It can also be decided by insurance companies.

    It seems that someone just decide what procedures are economically viable in relation to the likely outcome. How much should we spend to keep someone alive and suffering for another week? Can we afford every possible procedure that anyone might need? How do we decide? Not easy decisions, but a whole different topic.

  • Grace

    “After-Birth Abortions”

    Let’s look at this in the face of what the United States has been through since Roe vs. Wade hit the courts.

    Most people are not going to go down the road in hopes they can further the cause of abortion, by killing live infants “After-Birth Abortions” – Don’t forget, the flood gates opened when “partial birth abortion” was argued. Lawmakers with any sense of decency, fought it. How much more would the U.S. fight such a dastardly crime against an infant?

    What the rest of the world does and elects to publish, and that includes “Ethics” groups, is not applicable to our laws in the United States.

  • Grace

    “After-Birth Abortions”

    Let’s look at this in the face of what the United States has been through since Roe vs. Wade hit the courts.

    Most people are not going to go down the road in hopes they can further the cause of abortion, by killing live infants “After-Birth Abortions” – Don’t forget, the flood gates opened when “partial birth abortion” was argued. Lawmakers with any sense of decency, fought it. How much more would the U.S. fight such a dastardly crime against an infant?

    What the rest of the world does and elects to publish, and that includes “Ethics” groups, is not applicable to our laws in the United States.

  • SKPeterson

    trotk@ 22 – I always thought that it was the Surgeon General’s alternate title.

  • SKPeterson

    trotk@ 22 – I always thought that it was the Surgeon General’s alternate title.

  • fws

    i would suggest looking at this as the return to the society that was the ONLY order of society until the christian era.

    That order was that the head of the family/tribe was THE authority who had life and death power over the entire family.

    We are returning to this in the initial phase as having the woman be that head of family.

    I would further suggest that christians need to take a deep breath, and step back, and consider this all more globally. Who has the power to decide how to educate their children? the government? what about jehovahs witness parents who withhold medical care in the form of a transfusion or other parents who make decisions for religious or whatever reasons that society disagrees with? should the children be taken away? is it child abuse? at what point should society step in.

    I am not certain if it is right or wrong to make the family once again the authority. This was the societal structure in the NT and abortion and infanticide were omnipresent. Yet the NT says nothing about it. What happened is that christians became known for taking in babies left out to exposure to die, and were also known as “oddly” not practitioners of abortion.

    They did not feel it was a necessary cultural battle to redraw those lines and boundaries of authority.

    Catch the core of what I am trying to express here. I am in NO way trying to be an app0logist for the taking of human life.

  • fws

    i would suggest looking at this as the return to the society that was the ONLY order of society until the christian era.

    That order was that the head of the family/tribe was THE authority who had life and death power over the entire family.

    We are returning to this in the initial phase as having the woman be that head of family.

    I would further suggest that christians need to take a deep breath, and step back, and consider this all more globally. Who has the power to decide how to educate their children? the government? what about jehovahs witness parents who withhold medical care in the form of a transfusion or other parents who make decisions for religious or whatever reasons that society disagrees with? should the children be taken away? is it child abuse? at what point should society step in.

    I am not certain if it is right or wrong to make the family once again the authority. This was the societal structure in the NT and abortion and infanticide were omnipresent. Yet the NT says nothing about it. What happened is that christians became known for taking in babies left out to exposure to die, and were also known as “oddly” not practitioners of abortion.

    They did not feel it was a necessary cultural battle to redraw those lines and boundaries of authority.

    Catch the core of what I am trying to express here. I am in NO way trying to be an app0logist for the taking of human life.

  • Grace

    This is about killing a child that has just been born fws, this has nothing to do with “head of the family” –

    Are you suggesting Sharia law? – or the right to kill a family member for any reason?

    “We are returning to this in the initial phase as having the woman be that head of family. “

    Of course the woman is “head of the family” if her husband dies, or leaves.

    “Catch the core of what I am trying to express here. I am in NO way trying to be an app0logist for the taking of human life.”

    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    38 This is the first and great commandment.
    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    Matthew 22

    There is nothing about Sharia law in those words, very much to the contrary.

    I am not certain if it is right or wrong to make the family once again the authority. This was the societal structure in the NT and abortion and infanticide were omnipresent. Yet the NT says nothing about it. What happened is that christians became known for taking in babies left out to exposure to die, and were also known as “oddly” not practitioners of abortion.”

    Abortion and sacrificing children was used by the heathen pagans, as is written in Deuteronomy below.

    28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.

    29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;

    30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

    31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

    Deuteronomy 12

    fws, are you so bored that you’re instigating such nonsense regarding children, their right to live, throwing in Jehovah’s Witnesses, for good measure?

    What do you expect from pagans? They are well known for sacrificing children, the Greek heathens, the Romans and all the false gods they worshipped. Nothing has changed, we still have the pagans, and the immorality is everywhere to be observed, “nothing is new under the son”

    9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

    10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. Ecclesiastes 1

    All sin is from old, including murder, stealing lying fornication, homosexuality, killing children, sacrificing humans, jealousy, hatred, etc.

  • Grace

    This is about killing a child that has just been born fws, this has nothing to do with “head of the family” –

    Are you suggesting Sharia law? – or the right to kill a family member for any reason?

    “We are returning to this in the initial phase as having the woman be that head of family. “

    Of course the woman is “head of the family” if her husband dies, or leaves.

    “Catch the core of what I am trying to express here. I am in NO way trying to be an app0logist for the taking of human life.”

    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    38 This is the first and great commandment.
    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    Matthew 22

    There is nothing about Sharia law in those words, very much to the contrary.

    I am not certain if it is right or wrong to make the family once again the authority. This was the societal structure in the NT and abortion and infanticide were omnipresent. Yet the NT says nothing about it. What happened is that christians became known for taking in babies left out to exposure to die, and were also known as “oddly” not practitioners of abortion.”

    Abortion and sacrificing children was used by the heathen pagans, as is written in Deuteronomy below.

    28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.

    29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;

    30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

    31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

    Deuteronomy 12

    fws, are you so bored that you’re instigating such nonsense regarding children, their right to live, throwing in Jehovah’s Witnesses, for good measure?

    What do you expect from pagans? They are well known for sacrificing children, the Greek heathens, the Romans and all the false gods they worshipped. Nothing has changed, we still have the pagans, and the immorality is everywhere to be observed, “nothing is new under the son”

    9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

    10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. Ecclesiastes 1

    All sin is from old, including murder, stealing lying fornication, homosexuality, killing children, sacrificing humans, jealousy, hatred, etc.

  • http://www.pastormattrichard.com Matt Richard

    Follow Up To Article: Monsters Among Us… Ethicists Advocate For After-Birth Abortions
    http://www.pastormattrichard.com/2012/03/monsters-among-us-ethicists-advocate.html

  • http://www.pastormattrichard.com Matt Richard

    Follow Up To Article: Monsters Among Us… Ethicists Advocate For After-Birth Abortions
    http://www.pastormattrichard.com/2012/03/monsters-among-us-ethicists-advocate.html

  • Pingback: Prison Planet.com » Ethicists Argue Killing Newborn Babies Should Be Allowed — State of Globe

  • Pingback: Prison Planet.com » Ethicists Argue Killing Newborn Babies Should Be Allowed — State of Globe

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  • Pingback: Who’s Medical Ethics? « emariaenterprises

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  • http://jpfinn7.wordpress.com Jim Finn

    God is against abortion before or after birth. I believe in what God says. However I might reconsider in favor of aborting those whom have such immoral ideas.

  • http://jpfinn7.wordpress.com Jim Finn

    God is against abortion before or after birth. I believe in what God says. However I might reconsider in favor of aborting those whom have such immoral ideas.

  • Pingback: British ‘Ethicists’: Babies Can Be Killed – John Malcolm

  • Pingback: British ‘Ethicists’: Babies Can Be Killed – John Malcolm


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