February 29, 2012

The slope has slipped … when infanticide is presented as a “reasoned” argument [Darleen Click]

The irony of a paper entitled After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? running in the Journal of Medical Ethics

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. […]
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In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasise 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. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk. Accordingly, a second terminological specification is that we call such a practice ‘after-birth abortion’ rather than ‘euthanasia’ because the best interest of the one who dies is not necessarily the primary criterion for the choice, contrary to what happens in the case of euthanasia.
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Failing to bring a new person into existence cannot be compared with the wrong caused by procuring the death of an existing person. The reason is that, unlike the case of death of an existing person, failing to bring a new person into existence does not prevent anyone from accomplishing any of her future aims. However, this consideration entails a much stronger idea than the one according to which severely handicapped children should be euthanised. If the death of a newborn is not wrongful to her on the grounds that she cannot have formed any aim that she is prevented from accomplishing, then it should also be permissible to practise an after-birth abortion on a healthy newborn too, given that she has not formed any aim yet.

Do read the whole thing; a succinct example of the perfect monstrosity made capable by those devoted to “reason” and “rationality” fully untethered from any morality fit for human beings.

We’ve seen some of this argument before; specifically the odious scribblings of Pete Singer. This is the Eugenics’s idea that a “right to life” hinges solely on a narrow definition of personhood — and in whose hand lays the power of making that definition is conveniently left unstated. It’s “rationality” that speaks to the perfectibility of homo sapiens, culling not only the defectives but also the inconvenient, least they impinge on the aims of “actual persons.”

And, oh, not to forget the “cost to society”

But, in fact, people with Down’s syndrome, as well as people affected by many other severe disabilities, are often reported to be happy.
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Nonetheless, 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.

But what is even more striking than this chilling tract of retro-Nazi racial hygenics, is the hysterical spittle poured forth by the Journal’s editor, Julian Savulescu against the rabble who dared to criticize the article

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. […]
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What the response to this article reveals, through the microscope of the web, is the deep disorder of the modern world. Not that people would give arguments in favour of infanticide, but the deep opposition that exists now to liberal values and fanatical opposition to any kind of reasoned engagement.

Just imagine what nice, neat, reasoned list Julian is making of people who quality for after-birth abortion, if only he was in a position of power … Lebensunwertes Leben

h/t The Blaze

Posted by Darleen @ 10:46pm
28 comments | Trackback

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Comments (28)

  1. Jesus wept.

  2. So much for the hypocratic oath

  3. But, in fact, people with Down’s syndrome, as well as people affected by many other severe disabilities, are often reported to be happy.
    .
    Nonetheless, 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.

    no comment

  4. From a Gallup poll. June 9-11 2011

    Thinking more generally, do you think abortion should generally be legal or generally illegal during each of the following stages of pregnancy.

    A. In the first three months of pregnancy

    Should be legal — 62%
    Should be illegal — 35%

    B. In the second three months of pregnancy

    Should be legal — 24%
    Should be illegal — 71%

    C. In the last three months of pregnancy

    Should be legal — 10%
    Should be illegal — 86%

    It would seem that the very ability to perform abortions when fetuses can survive the abortion is opposed substantially which would make the whole question moot and their presumption,

    Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health

    Immense.

  5. It seems that adding an italics tag to a blockquote is redundant now and that that tag may be what messes up the paragraphing.

  6. These ethicist guys, they’re wacko, man. They’re worse than crazy. They’re evil. I mean, that’s what they got set up there, man. It’s fuckin’ pagan idolatry! Look around you. Shit, they’re loco.

  7. Never get out of the boat man.

  8. I think the real trick is to not get into the boat in the first place.

  9. Why should anyone live if they are not useful to the state?

  10. I usually prefer to avoid saying this but those people are monsters. Seriously sick.

  11. I have wondered why it has taken so long to see something like this. The viability argument for abortion does not magically become null with passage through the birth canal. let’s face it, drop a naked 5 year old off deep in the woods when it is 30 degrees out and they have what, 15-20 minutes tops? They are no more viable without your care than the unborn.

    This guy makes a the point better than I am trying to that the attempted justification of ‘after birth abortion’ points out the absurdity of the pro-abortion position to begin with.

  12. Nonetheless, 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.

    Can we say “death panels”, boys and girls? And because the state has replaced charity, there is no appeal.

  13. What you’re seeing here is a good example of modern LeftLibProgg ‘reasoning’, given that they view humans as mere animals ruining an overpopulated planet. Many of these sorts (e.g. AlGore the Misanthrope) feel that this little mudball can only sustain 1.5 B people, and since they have also thrown away any personal faith – belief system (there’s no such thing as a human soul, and no troublesome ‘Creator’), they are no longer accountable to anything not of their own ‘creation’. The result: this manner and display of a warped, twisted mindset that lacks a personal relationship with a bedrock morality (AKA a ‘God’).

  14. Save a Child – Abort an Ethicist.

  15. Maybe they can start arguing for 42nd trimester abortions next. Heck, we could shut up all death penalty opponents by calling executions really, really late term abortions. And then we could demand federal funding because it’s for the children.

  16. If it’s now “rational” to discuss killing perfectly healthy newborns just for the inconvenience they may cause, then I say that it’s now quite rational and reasonable to thoroughly discuss and contemplate killing these ethicist fuckers because of the irritation and disgust they are causing me.

    I mean, logic is logic, right? It’s not really killing, now is it?

  17. More than ever, proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.

    Somebody get this noodnik a new irony detector.

  18. Holy shit. RIP Andrew Breitbart.

    Damn, we needed him.

  19. Wha? Shit. There goes my joke…

  20. Our Church, Eastern Orthodox, as do many others, not only believes differently but acts differently too. Link is to a one hour film in Russian about an orphanage run by Orthodox priests and nuns that is raising children who were abandoned by the system there. Ones these “ethicists” would likely wish dead.

  21. Holy shit.

    Precisely my reaction.

  22. Twenty five years ago I was taught that Down’s syndrome patients can live healthy, happy lives, but that they cannot live past forty. Yesterday I reviewed the chart of a man with Down’s syndrome, he’s fifty three.

    The authors of that paper might want to start sleeping with one eye open…

  23. Although, this paper should come as no particular surprise, originating as it does from the birthplace of fascism. Something that styled itself as a return to an ancient way of life, an ancient way of life that historically practiced infant exposure, at least in it’s most early phases of existence.

  24. And THIS is why Obama is wants to put Catholic hospitals out of business: so he and the death panels (IPAB, etc.) can get down to defining which lives have value. Enough with this wasteful spending on unwanted babies, defective people, and old folks who just aren’t dying fast enough. Let’s dispense with this conscience thing already.

    And that line about “…when the state economically provides for their care.” – Who asked for this? I seem to recall a lot of us fought very hard to keep the state out of the healthcare business.

  25. Pingback: The Joy of Baby-Killing « Andrew J. Patrick

  26. It seems that adding an italics tag to a blockquote is redundant now and that that tag may be what messes up the paragraphing.

    Stylesheet got changed. There was a typo in it.

  27. McGehee, that ain’t irony; it’s evil. He needs to be smacked upside the head with a tire irony.

  28. I do agree with the commenters on the Editor’s reply who observe that in making the equivalence between abortion and infanticide, the authors will do far more to discourage the former then they do to encourage the latter. In a real way, they’re doing the pro-life advocates a favor.

    In fact, I at first read the paper as a Modest Proposal. I was disappointed to learn that I had granted the authors and editors more benefit than was deserved, but I’ll still take their help in the greater debate, unwitting as it may be.

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