Wednesday, February 29, 2012

After-birth abortion

"[O]nce we discard the Christian principle of inherent dignity of humans, anything we decide to do to an infant becomes 'ethically permissible'" writes Joe Carter in this summary of an article I noted the other day. "After-birth abortion" is what has, up till now, been called infanticide, i.e. murder. Carter:
The Article: After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?

The Source: Journal of Medical Ethics

The Authors: Australian philosophers Alberto Giubilini and Francesa Minerva

The Gist: Since it is currently permissible to kill prenatal children because they are only potential persons and do not have full moral status, then we should be able to kill postnatal children for the same reason. ....

The Bottom Line: As the authors note, an examination of 18 European registries found that between 2005 and 2009 only 64% of Down's syndrome cases were diagnosed through prenatal testing, leaving about 1,700 infants to be born with the condition. Since the mothers would have likely killed the child in utero, why should we not permit them to kill the child after the birth?

Sadly, this is not a reductio ad absurdum intended to show the illogic of abortion but a serious philosophical argument made in defense of infanticide: ". . . we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be." ....
More, from The Telegraph
.... They argued: “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”

Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “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.”

As such they argued it was “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense”. ....
"...a person in the morally relevant sense."!
60 Second Summary: After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? – The Gospel Coalition Blog, Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say - Telegraph