A paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics, entitled “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?”, argues that killing a newborn baby should be “permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled”. #Hat-tip: Catholic Herald.#
The authors of this paper, Alberto Giubilini of the University of Milan and Francesca Minerva of Melbourne University, argue that “both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons”. Secondly, they say that “the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant”. Thirdly, they write that “adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people”.
In summary – and it really is this brutal – newborn babies are not actual people, ergo killing them is not immoral.
Now Julian Savulescu, the Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, is complaining that the authors – both leading ethicists – have received “personally abusive correspondence”, most of which is anonymous, “threatening their lives and personal safety”.
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��%9