Human Exceptionalism

This is How Baby Killing Begins

Now, The Economist has editorialized that it is “brave” for UK doctors to want to open the door to infanticide for disabled babies. Why kill disabled babies, according to the magazine’s editorial writers? “Take the case of Charlotte Wyatt, born at 26 weeks in 2003 with severe disabilities. Her doctors wanted to withhold treatment but her parents argued successfully that she should be kept alive. Now the parents have separated and Charlotte is up for adoption. Disabled children are nine times more likely than others to end up in the care of the state.”

By all means, we mustn’t require the state to care for the weakest and most vulnerable among us. But I wonder if the editorialists know the company they are keeping. Such attitudes are virtually identical to those expressed by Alfred Hocke and Karl Binding in their 1920 book Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life, seen as crucial by historians of the Holocaust in creating the medical culture that led to Germany’s murderous eugenic infanticide pogrom.

Never Again? I guess for some, it is, “Never say never.” (I will be writing more on this story soon.)

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