Human Exceptionalism

Killing Baby “Non Persons”–Just Grist for Bioethics Mill

The Journal of Medical Ethics prints many articles that illustrate vividly just where many members of the increasingly radical bioethics movement would take us.  Most recently, it published an article stating that infanticide should be permitted–regardless of the health of the baby–if it serves the best interests of the concerned adults.  From the Abstract for, “Afterbirth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?”:

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

So, if a woman has a mixed racial affair, she and her same race husband should be able to prevent gossip and embarrassment by killing the baby?  (I know of one such case, although the woman wasn’t married, she aborted simply because she didn’t want to have a mixed race child.)  Heck, if the baby’s life is worth so little, let’s harvest her organs and give them to those babies whose parents want them to live.

As just one other example of many I could give, the Journal of Medical Ethics also published an article claiming that scientists should be able to remove the kidneys from people diagnosed with PVS–denigrated as merely “living cadavers”–and transplant in pig organs in the place of their own organs to test the safety of pig-to-human xenotransplantation.  And it isn’t “just” the Journal of Medical EthicsLook at all the “respectable” bioethics journals that have published outright advocacy to allow doctors to kill for organs.

This doesn’t mean the law will accept come to accept the premise–although it could–this is precisely how the right to dehydrate the persistently unconscious started, with articles in bioethics and medical journals.  The point is that such arguments are deemed respectable in bioethics, which would reject racist or homophobic advocacy out of hand.

Or to put it another way, too often bioethics, isn’t.  On the other hand, to be fair, the ancient Romans exposed inconvenient infants on hills.  These authors may want to take us back to those crass values, but I assume they would urge a quicker death.

HT: Bioedge

Update: Here is the link to full article


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