By Andy Merrett
Mar 2, 2012
Babies have no ‘moral right to life’, may be killed, writes professor [Sick]
This article contains no graphic visual images or disturbing videos, yet I’m going to warn you that this could well be the sickest thing you’ve read in a long while.
Moral Right To Life
According to a group of professors publishing in the Journal of Medical Ethics, babies are not “actual persons” and have no “moral right to life”.
Editor Prof Julian Savulescu suggests that anyone who speaks out against these views, which I’d suggest the majority of society would consider abhorrent, is a “fanatic opposed to the very values of a liberal society”.
We already know that abortion is a contentious issue, but whatever your view of that, surely the suggestion that newborn baby is no different to a foetus is a bizarre and flawed one.
Even if you believe that an unborn baby (i.e. one that is still in the womb) can be aborted at some particular number of weeks, it’s a stretch to consider there to be no difference once born.
On a logical level, of course, you can argue that the difference is a mere matter of hours. On an ethical and human level, the difference is immense.
From reading excerpts, it seems that there’s a distinction between a ‘human being’ and a ‘person’.
What Is An Individual?
The report suggests, “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus [sic] in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”
This leads them to the suggestion that it’s “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense”.
They define ‘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 debate is deeply worrying. Academics are free to have discussions about what it means to be ‘alive’ and a person, but when it metamorphoses into the suggestion that newborn babies can be killed if they don’t meet the expectations of the parent, we’re coming dangerously close to the abhorrence of child sacrifice. The god we sacrifice to? A society which suggests that humans are only valuable based on what they do and what they can contribute, rather than on the very basic premise that they are alive.
The deeply shocking report concludes 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”.
These sorts of arguments are not new. In fact, thinking logically about it (which seems to be the main concern of the publishers, who dismiss the idea that the majority of humans would have a moral viewpoint on it — or at least a notion of what is acceptable and unacceptable in a supposedly developed country) it’s merely an extension of the thinking that calls for a longer time frame for abortion.
Yet it is perhaps one of the starkest indicators of the value those, particularly in positions of power, place on human individuals.
Poor Reflection On Our Society
Our society is deeply flawed when it suggests that babies who do not meet an acceptable level of ‘perfection’ can simply be done away with on the grounds of inconvenience or financial burden on society.
The report singles out certain disabilities, such as Down’s Syndrome, with the implication that it would be far better to euthanise (kill) them at birth rather than let them live. That’s despite the fact that many recognise that people with such a disability are still incredible, valuable members of society with much to offer. And, regardless of that, they are human beings.
Has history not already taught us, time and time again, how wrong it is to discriminate to the point of life and death against certain races or abilities?
Let’s hope and pray this kind of thinking never makes it beyond the walls of academia into legalised action.
You can read the entire report here.
Via The Telegraph