(Christian Today) Christians reject ‘after-birth abortion’ claim by two Ethicists in Major Journ

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In an article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva argue that newborn babies do not have a “moral right to life” because they are not “actual persons” but rather “potential persons”.

“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....”

Nick Pollard, co-founder of The Damaris Trust, criticised the claim.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyScience & Technology* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

15 Comments
Posted March 2, 2012 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Emerson Champion wrote:

Here is a link to the JME article:
After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?
Did not the Nazis encourage similar practices? They certainly believed that over six million human beings did not have the same moral status as “actual persons.”

March 2, 9:34 am | [comment link]
2. montanan wrote:

There is a logical progression from early abortion to throughout-pregnancy abortion and, because the birth process is no more magical than conception and intrauterine development, from that to infanticide.  There also is then a logical progression to forced euthanasia of the elderly disabled and from there to all the disabled.  Thereafter it is pretty easy to justify euthanasia of all that are different from whoever has the sceptre of power.

March 2, 9:57 am | [comment link]
3. Br. Michael wrote:

2. is absolutely correct.  If you favor abortion for any reason other than being necessary to save the life of the mother, there is no principled stopping point.  Late term abortions are no different from “after-birth abortions” than a second or two.  Also under their definition euthanasia of those society determines should be killed is a given.

What was once called “crimes against humanity” is now deemed respectable by the liberal/progressive elites.

March 2, 10:33 am | [comment link]
4. Terry Tee wrote:

My shock at reading a report on this in the Telegraph was compounded by subsequent developments.  The authors of the reports have been subjected to death threats.  Let me be absolutely clear:  I condemn such threats absolutely.  You cannot do good by committing evil deeds.  However, I was left speechless at the response of the editor of the journal to the threats - they were a threat, he said to the values of a liberal society.  Excuse me?  Wouldn’t a liberal society put defending its babies high on the list of its values?

March 2, 11:43 am | [comment link]
5. Terry Tee wrote:

Also: to judge from news reports the writers seem rather taken aback at the reaction to their article.  A sign, perhaps, of how vapid academics can be, as if the ideas that they bounce around never have any ramifications or consequences for society.

March 2, 11:47 am | [comment link]
6. Cennydd13 wrote:

Br Michael, you and I are in complete agreement.  My stance in these blogs toward abortion on demand, and especially towards this kind oif thinking, is well known. 

Except for abortion deemed medically necessary in order to save a mother’s life, it must NEVER be permitted.  The kind of abortion that these two advocate is properly called genocide by all civilized nations and societies.

March 2, 11:52 am | [comment link]
7. Ralph wrote:

This is a peer-reviewed academic journal. I think the article should have been rejected.

The editor disagrees with me.

As Editor of the Journal, I would like to defend its publication. The arguments presented, in fact, are largely not new and have been presented repeatedly in the academic literature and public fora by the most eminent philosophers and bioethicists in the world, including Peter Singer, Michael Tooley and John Harris in defence of infanticide, which the authors call after-birth abortion.

...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.

I hear the Baby Jesus crying.

March 2, 12:46 pm | [comment link]
8. Paula Loughlin wrote:

““Liberals Are Disgusting”: In Defence of the Publication of “After-Birth Abortion”
Published in the “Journal of Practical Ethics.”

http://tinyurl.com/7en2o9j

March 2, 1:38 pm | [comment link]
9. Paula Loughlin wrote:

Oh and if Peter Singer is your go to guy for Ethics, you might want to consider changing fields.

March 2, 1:39 pm | [comment link]
10. Br. Michael wrote:

And then there are the mobile killing squads for late term post birth abortions:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/01/dutch-mobile-euthanasia-units

The Germans were just too avant guard it seems.

March 2, 2:00 pm | [comment link]
11. Betsybrowneyes wrote:

#3 and #6, you are absolutely right. I’m appalled that anyone could be so barbaric. How is wilfully killing a living, breathing child anything less than murder?

March 2, 2:38 pm | [comment link]
12. Pb wrote:

“...the goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view.”  So now we have ethics without morals or Truth.

March 2, 2:57 pm | [comment link]
13. Paula Loughlin wrote:

#12, this is not new.  If you have read Wesley Smith or Robert George they do a good job of exposing the sorry state of Ethics in academics and in real life applications.

March 2, 3:29 pm | [comment link]
14. Paula Loughlin wrote:

For an excellent fictional treatment of this current path in ethics I suggest reading Dean Koontz’ “One Door Away from Heaven.”

March 2, 3:31 pm | [comment link]
15. Jim K wrote:

There is, sadly, very little new here.  A reading of the Robert J Lifton book on the Nazi doctors would find the same philosophical arguments being made, albeit decades BEFORE the Nazis took over.  The most telling quote in this article, at least to me, is this:  “children…whose lives can be expected to be not worth living”, which is a very good English translation of the original German argument for killing the “unfit” whose lives were “lebensunwertes leben”: literally: lives unworthy to be lived.  The two authors are now on the faculties of two universities in Australia.  It will be interesting to see if their careers are enhanced by this publication or otherwise.

March 3, 12:55 am | [comment link]
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