Human Exceptionalism

Why All The Fuss About Russian Journalist’s Call for Infanticide?

A Russian journalist set off a firestorm in calling for infanticide of developmentally disabled babies, using extremely crass and dehumanizing language. From the story:

The author, Aleksandr Nikonov, used the word “debil” — a deeply offensive term in Russian — to characterize such children. He argued that parents should have the right to euthanize newborns diagnosed with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. The article, which ran under the headline “Finish Them Off, So They Don’t Suffer,” went on to describe what Nikonov termed “postnatal abortion” as an act of mercy.

That’s awful, I agree. But why the fuss?  Dutch doctors now actually kill disabled and terminally ill babes–and they end up having their death protocol published respectfully by the New England Journal of  Medicine.  But since they don’t use hateful language, I guess it’s okay:

And lest we forget, in the USA, you are not disdained in the least for advocating infanticide: To the contrary: You are lauded and given a prestigious tenured chair in bioethics at Princeton University!

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