MELBOURNE, Australia, February 28, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Taking the logic of abortion to its ultimate consequence, two ethicists have argued that “killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be.”
Alberto Giubilin, a philosopher from the University of Milan, and Francesca Minerva, an ethicist from the University of Melbourne, have made the case that since both the unborn baby and the newborn do not have the moral status of actual persons and are consequently morally irrelevant, what they call “after-birth abortion” should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is perfectly healthy.
“We claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk.”
The article titled, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” appeared online in the Journal Of Medical Ethics last Thursday.
The authors highlight that the justification for “after-birth abortion” is based on the interests of the people involved, not those of the baby.
“If criteria such as the costs (social, psychological, economic) for the potential parents are good enough reasons for having an abortion even when the fetus is healthy, if the moral status of the newborn is the same as that of the infant and if neither has any moral value by virtue of being a potential person, then the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn.”
The authors do not say at what stage of development it become morally repugnant to kill a newborn baby but leave the question of when a baby moves from being a potential person to being an actual person to be settled by neurologists and psychologists.
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