Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are “morally irrelevant” and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued.
The paper written by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva claims that 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.
The claim is that because a baby is incapable of attributing his or her own existence they have no right to life. The writers stated that “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’.”
They argue that a person is “at least in the condition to value the different situation she would have found herself in if she had not been harmed. And such a condition depends on the level of her mental development, which in turn determines whether or not she is a ‘person’.” Anyone who is put to death will be incapable of understanding the different situation they would have been in had they lived.
Following this case, if my parent has Alzheimer’s and is thus incapable of knowing the situational difference if harmed, this allows us to kill humans who have Alzheimer’s or other mental illnesses.
The writers’ seem to believe that giving this murder a different name aid acceptance. They wrote ”In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. Therefore, 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. Accordingly, a second terminological specification is that we call such a practice ‘after-birth abortion’ rather than ‘euthanasia’ because the best interest of the one who dies is not necessarily the primary criterion for the choice, contrary to what happens in the case of euthanasia.”
The important point they make- is it really any different to kill a baby in the womb than killing it out of the womb?