Bite on a bullet or leather strap as you read this.
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.
Actually, I think the proper wording is,
“Since infanticide is murder, at what point is abortion murder?”
[In] “circumstances occur[ing] after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.”
Up through the age of eighteen, one presumes, although the authors avoided that pesky question.
[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.”
Depends on what the meaning of “morality” is, I reckon.
One might also interpret that to mean that the moral status of a fetus is comparable with that of a born “individual.” Keep diggin’, fellas.
[It's not] euthanasia [since] 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.
Evidently, euthanasia is not a useful term for infanticide, so it’s not a moral issue but a semantics issue? Good head-fake, guys.
They’re actually saying that it’s for the family’s well-being, a social issue.
The circumstances … 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 …
Wait for it …
… 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. …
It’s a friggin’ government spending issue!
Cue Death Panels.
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.
I’m beginning to have my doubts about the term “ethicist” being applied to these guys, much less rational human beings.
Note: you do not prove your point by re-defining the words “moral,” “right,” and “life;”
and it’s not your friggin’ decision, anyway.
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.
You left out people whom you defend yourself against by using deadly force, because they are trying to frikkin’ kill you. Ring a bell?
How is it ethical to label the truly innocent as morally equivalent to mass murderers?
In what universe ?
[The rights of] these “potential persons” [are] “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.”
What kind of twisted thought process* creates this kind of rationalization?
It is an attack on the definition of “rights,”
it is an attack on the concept of “morality,”
it is an insult to the pursuit of “ethics,” and
it is a perversion of the very idea of “humanity.”
* Rhetorical. Let’s not get into the Sorelian mythologies and totalitarianism, here.