As a Christian, a moral and ethical being and the father of 5, it is difficult to even read articles such as this without recoiling in horror that another human being, thought to be intelligent and rationale, has conceived this notion and is capable of considering it an ethical one without being shunned as a psychopath.
Under no circumstances would I ever consider that one should be able to kill a child after it had been born. Of course, neither do I condone killing one simply because it hasn’t yet been born, either. Yet this position is clearly the logical end for people for whom there is no moral authority other than themselves.
The article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics and titled, “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?”, was written by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva. According to the UK Telegraph they posit, “…newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”.” adding, ““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.””
“We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.”
As such they argued it was “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense”.
The authors therefore concluded 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”.
The pair have received death threats. A former professor for the pair deplored the furor their views have produced. Prof Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and editor of the journal in which the article appeared said those making threats were, “fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society”. He added, “Rather than argue and engage, there is a drive is to silence and, in the extreme, kill, based on their own moral certainty. That is not the sort of society we should live in.””
There were no comments from anyone on the inescapable irony of the views of the professor.