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Why should new-born babies live? They shouldn’t, Ethicists say 

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
February 29, 2012

“An ethicist is one whose judgment on ethics and ethical codes has come to be trusted by a specific community, and (importantly) is expressed in some way that makes it possible for others to mimic or approximate that judgement. Following the advice of ethicists is one means of acquiring knowledge.”

The impossibility to save all babies that are born into this world is not an uncommon situation. The decision to save a mother and not the baby during a birth or vice-versa isn’t new either. What is new is questioning if it is OK to kill a baby even though it was born perfectly healthy. Some ethicists today are even omitting the question itself and advancing the idea that after-birth abortion should be seriously considered. But for what purposes? In a recent paper published in the Journal for Medical Ethics, ethicists explain that ‘after-birth abortion’ or killing a newborn should be allowed under all circumstances where abortion is, and those situations include the ones where a baby IS NOT disabled. In other words, the authors of this paper are openly advocating eugenics under the premise that neither a fetus not a new-born have the moral status of an actual person.

The paper, written by Dr. Francesca Minerva, CAPPE, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia; had the support of Alberto Giubilini. Mr. Giubilini is affiliated to the Department of Philosophy and the University of Milan, Milan, Italy, the Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, while Ms. Minerva is affiliated to the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.

In what kind of drugs does anyone have to be to advocate for the murder of unborn or born children. Only an arrogant, disarranged and ethically compromised group of people who follow a eugenics way of thinking could push for such a policy. The authors claim that even when a fetus or a baby is healthy, becoming a mother can be a psychological burden for a woman and therefore murdering babies should be considered as an option to alleviate that burden. THey also argue that if it’s not the mother who is mentally out of balance, perhaps it is her existing children the ones who will be mentally affected by the arrival of the new-born. “We need to assess facts in order to decide whether the same arguments that apply to killing a human fetus can also be consistently applied to killing a newborn human,” say the authors.

Amazingly, the paper makes a case that it should be an even more common practice to abort fetuses just because there is a suspicion of a genetic defect, which according to them can be detected through medical tests. However, since some tests are not good enough to detect certain complications originated from inherited genes or genetic mutations, fetus abortion or new-born abortions should also be considered as a preventive step to avoid the arrival of unwanted human beings. “…genetic prenatal tests for TCS are usually taken only if there is a family history of the disease. Sometimes, though, the disease is caused by a gene
mutation that intervenes in the gametes of a healthy member of the couple. Moreover, tests for TCS are quite expensive and it takes several weeks to get the result. However, such rare and severe pathologies are not the only ones that are likely to remain undetected until delivery; even more common congenital diseases that women are usually tested for could fail to be detected,” reads the paper.

These two people seem to believe that a philosopher or a group of them has the moral, medical or academic authority to determine what the future of a baby should look like, as they cite that “philosophers” have proposed euthanasia as an alternative in the past, and therefore it is nothing new to kill a baby, even if it is perfectly healthy. “It might be maintained that ‘even allowing for the more optimistic assessments of the potential of Down’s syndrome children, this potential cannot be said to be equal to that of a normal child,” they assert. This kind of thinking was typical during the Nazi holocaust where in addition to Jews, Armenians and other ethnic groups, the sick, the old and the handicapped were murdered for the sake of purifying the race. Their eugenicist assessment continues: “…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.”

Minerva and Giubilini summarize their mindset by stating that the unconfirmed potential of any fetus to become a person who has less that a perfect life, is an opportunity to justify abortion, or after-birth abortion in the case of babies who were permitted to live. “the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion. Therefore, we argue that, when circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible,” they say. Then they propose that instead of calling a child’s murder by its name — infanticide –, it should be toned down by calling it after-birth abortion, a term that can be easily related to since large portions of the society are accustomed to hearing about abortion as a consideration when there are medical emergencies or when a mother or a doctor decide it is the best option. For the authors, infanticide or euthanasia are not such when the interests of the unborn baby or those of the family call for the murder of that same human being.

Shockingly, both Minerva and Giubilini take the moral ground when advocating for infanticide. They consider that since neither a fetus not a new-born have the MORAL standing of a PERSON, it is not possible to damage a newborn by preventing his or her birth or from preventing the development or the potential of this being to become a fully developed PERSON in the moral sense. According to their analysis, neither a fetus nor a new-born have the right to live because they lack the properties that allow for that right to exist. “… 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.” They go on to echo a talking point that well-known eugenicists as well as modern philanthropists and members of the medical establishment commonly use to impose environmental policies — that humans are animals — and that just as animals, mentally retarded humans, for example, do not have the capacity to value their existence and therefore are not persons. The premise that humans are animals — an ill conceived one since humans are not animals, but mammals; the trait that we share with other animals, is often paraded as a justification to murder the sick, the elderly, the poor and now the babies.

Even the liberal mainstream media have unveiled the agenda behind a not so secret aspect of modern eugenics campaign. Click the image to read the article.

“Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.” Then they try to swindle the reader by asserting that the previous description is true for fetuses where abortion is considered or criminals who are punished with death. One question that immediately comes to mind is, What crimes has a fetus or a new-born committed in order for Minerva and Giubilini to compare it to a convicted criminal? The second question is, Aren’t innocent people often convicted of crimes they did not commit and sentenced to death anyway? A third questions is, do abortion practices as they are today in any way moral, just because they are permitted or widely accepted? Reading further into their paper makes me think that these two medical academics are not completely sane by pushing the ideas they a support in their published paper. Perhaps another incredible fact is that the Journal for Medical Ethics gives legitimacy to claims like ones in the paper that seek to appease the people regarding the murder of other human beings. It is like when the United States government decided to baptize the murder of Libyans by calling its attack on that country as Kinetic Action, instead of plain out mass murder through military action.

The authors completely omit the fact that although they are unable to express it verbally, fetuses and new-borns do feel pain and that the current practices used to perform infanticide do inflict pain on those living beings. Instead, they claim that pain can only be measured by the limitation that a PERSON is submitted to, which prevents him or her to accomplish his or her aims, and that since fetuses and new-borns are not  PERSONS, there is no pain inflicted when they are murdered. “hardly can a newborn be said to have aims, as the future we imagine for it is merely a projection of our minds on its potential lives,” the authors say. Here again, Minerva and Giubilini agree that the plans and lives of those who are already alive, such as siblings and parents of the new-born are more important than letting a perfectly healthy new-born live. They stress that given the potential for their lives — that of the parents and siblings — to be negatively or even positively affected by the birth of a child, those parents and siblings should resource to infanticide to end with the inexistant potential consequences that only their minds — Minerva’s and Giubilini’s — are capable of guessing ahead of time.

While reading their paper, I realize that Minerva’s and Giubilini’s train of thought is ill conceived for at least three reasons. First, they believe, although it is not properly supported in the paper, that there are moral or other justifications to kill a fetus or a new-born. Second, they equal a fetus to a new-born. Third, they believe that neither a fetus nor a new-born are PERSONS because of commonly accepted conventions that say so, instead of writing their analysis based on comparisons on the presence of biological functions, for example, which all fetuses, new-borns and PERSONS share. This is a typical case of nitpicking whatever works out to get a point across and to publish a paper that advocates for the murder of innocent beings that in their view are not human or PERSONS.

What good could it come from a medical establishment that believes that humans can be equaled to animals, or that a new-born is not a PERSON and that therefore it should be permissible to murder it? How can we trust our lives into the hands of human haters who advocate infanticide, and in other situations euthanasia or even mass murder just because their conventions dictate that handicapped or mentally retarded people do not have a life worth living? Who are they to determine what a life is worth and whose life should be preserved and who are candidates for murder?

“An ethicist is one whose judgment on ethics and ethical codes has come to be trusted by a specific community, and (importantly) is expressed in some way that makes it possible for others to mimic or approximate that judgement. Following the advice of ethicists is one means of acquiring knowledge.”

Will you continue to trust ethicists blindly?


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About the author:

Luis Miranda is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 17 years and almost every form of news media. He attended Montclair State University's School of Broadcasting and also obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. Luis speaks English, Spanish Portuguese and Italian.

Response to Why should new-born babies live? They shouldn’t, Ethicists say

  1. rozmundj

    I am aghast – sickened by this piece of news…but then living in denial as just what monsters walk this planet is naive…surely these people must be aware the planet is being poisoned causing infertility and that healthy reproduction of our species in the decades ahead will be a gift…to be cherished by all..as birth rates are falling in many countries – truly a horrific mind set.

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