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Old 03-01-2012, 05:55 PM
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Default Medical Ethicists: Newborns not "actual persons"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/he...perts-say.html
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The article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”. The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born.
The journal’s editor, Prof Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, said the article's authors had received death threats since publishing the article. He said those who made abusive and threatening posts about the study were “fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society”.
The article, entitled “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?”, was written by two of Prof Savulescu’s former associates, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva.
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”.
The authors therefore concluded 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”.
They also argued that parents should be able to have the baby killed if it turned out to be disabled without their knowing before birth, for example citing that “only the 64 per cent of Down’s syndrome cases” in Europe are diagnosed by prenatal testing.
Once such children were born there was “no choice for the parents but to keep the child”, they wrote.
“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.”
However, they did not argue that some baby killings were more justifiable than others – their fundamental point was that, morally, there was no difference to abortion as already practised.
They preferred to use the phrase “after-birth abortion” rather than “infanticide” to “emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus”.
Both Minerva and Giubilini know Prof Savulescu through Oxford. Minerva was a research associate at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics until last June, when she moved to the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at Melbourne University.
Giubilini, a former visiting student at Cambridge University, gave a talk in January at the Oxford Martin School – where Prof Savulescu is also a director – titled 'What is the problem with euthanasia?'
He too has gone on to Melbourne, although to the city’s Monash University. Prof Savulescu worked at both univerisities before moving to Oxford in 2002.
Defending the decision to publish in a British Medical Journal blog, Prof Savulescu, said that arguments in favour of killing newborns were “largely not new”.
What Minerva and Giubilini did was apply these arguments “in consideration of maternal and family interests”.
While accepting that many people would disagree with their arguments, he wrote: “The goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view. It is to present well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises.”
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he added: “This “debate” has been an example of “witch ethics” - a group of people know who the witch is and seek to burn her. It is one of the most dangerous human tendencies we have. It leads to lynching and genocide. Rather than argue and engage, there is a drive is to silence and, in the extreme, kill, based on their own moral certainty. That is not the sort of society we should live in.”
He said the journal would consider publishing an article positing that, if there was no moral difference between abortion and killing newborns, then abortion too should be illegal.
Dr Trevor Stammers, director of medical ethics at St Mary's University College, said: "If a mother does smother her child with a blanket, we say 'it's doesn't matter, she can get another one,' is that what we want to happen?
"What these young colleagues are spelling out is what we would be the inevitable end point of a road that ethical philosophers in the States and Australia have all been treading for a long time and there is certainly nothing new."
Referring to the term "after-birth abortion", Dr Stammers added: "This is just verbal manipulation that is not philosophy. I might refer to abortion henceforth as antenatal infanticide."
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:20 PM
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PsykoJojo just posted this on Fb a coupla days ago. Like I told him, I've been hitting this for years when I was a Philosophy major. Unfortunately, I knew it was just a matter of time before it hit the "real" world.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:04 PM
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“fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society”
Is this a club I can join?
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:10 PM
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Are they being sarcastic?
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:36 PM
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This makes me want to vomit. May all people who hold this view someday find themselves in a nursing home unable to care for themselves when their uncaring family member comes to pull the plug. Oh...and be completely mentally aware, but unable to communicate. Disgusting.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Neezar View Post
Are they being sarcastic?
Nope. Peter Singer has been promoting this for years. The man's a special kinda "smart".
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by VCURamFan View Post
Nope. Peter Singer has been promoting this for years. The man's a special kinda "smart".
This wording:

Quote:
While accepting that many people would disagree with their arguments, he wrote: “The goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view. It is to present well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises.”
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he added: “This “debate” has been an example of “witch ethics” - a group of people know who the witch is and seek to burn her. It is one of the most dangerous human tendencies we have. It leads to lynching and genocide. Rather than argue and engage, there is a drive is to silence and, in the extreme, kill, based on their own moral certainty. That is not the sort of society we should live in.”
He said the journal would consider publishing an article positing that, if there was no moral difference between abortion and killing newborns, then abortion too should be illegal.
I don't know....I just got the impression that this guy might be playing the devil's advocate.

And this:

Quote:
"What these young colleagues are spelling out is what we would be the inevitable end point of a road that ethical philosophers in the States and Australia have all been treading for a long time and there is certainly nothing new."
Sounds kinda like they may be just trying to show the public where this road is leading with this issue. Whether it is their intention or not, it most certainly will wake up some that are neutral on the subject.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:37 PM
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There are groups of people out there who have been arguing for years that women should be allowed to kill their children anywhere from 1-7 years after they are born with no legal consequences.

I've even read arguments for the idea of children being required to justify their existence and their contribution to society, before a judge, every year of their life until they turn 18, or their lives will be terminated for the "good of society as a whole."

This is simply the next step on the road we are on once we start to justify abortion under ANY circumstances.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:27 AM
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I feel sick to my stomach and sick at heart after reading this.

I've felt sad all day after hearing about the death of someone I really admired, Andrew Breitbart. Then to read this made me think we have failed as a race of human beings.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:25 AM
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Isn't there some animals that eat their young when they realize that they were born with something wrong with them? Not that it's the same thing but just wondering....
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