Safe Mode: On
Ethicists argue in favor of 'after-birth abortions' as newborns 'are not persons'

by Liz Klimas
Original Link:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/ethicists-argue-in-favor-of-after-birth-abortions-as-newborns-are-not-persons/

Two ethicists working with Australian universities argue in the latest online edition of the Journal of Medical Ethics that if abortion of a fetus is allowable, so to should be the termination of a newborn.

Alberto Giubilini with Monash University in Melbourne and Francesca Minerva at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne write that in “circumstances occur[ing] after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.”

The two are quick to note that they prefer the term “after-birth abortion“ as opposed to ”infanticide.” Why? Because it “[emphasizes] 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.” The authors also do not agree with the term euthanasia for this practice as the best interest of the person who would be killed is not necessarily the primary reason his or her life is being terminated. In other words, it may be in the parents’ best interest to terminate the life, not the newborns.

The circumstances, the authors state, where after-birth abortion should be considered acceptable include instances where the newborn would be putting the well-being of the family at risk, even if it had the potential for an “acceptable” life. The authors cite Downs Syndrome as an example, stating that while the quality of life of individuals with Downs is often reported as happy, “such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.”

This means a newborn whose family (or society) that could be socially, economically or psychologically burdened or damaged by the newborn should have the ability to seek out an after-birth abortion. They state that after-birth abortions are not preferable over early-term abortions of fetuses but should circumstances change with the family or the fetus in the womb, then they advocate that this option should be made available.

The authors go on to state that the moral status of a newborn is equivalent to a fetus in that it cannot be considered a person in the “morally relevant sense.” On this point, the authors write:

---

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’. 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.
[...]
Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal.
---

Giubilini and Minerva believe that being able to understand the value of a different situation, which often depends on mental development, determines personhood. For example, being able to tell the difference between an undesirable situation and a desirable one. They note that fetuses and newborns are “potential persons.” The authors do acknowledge that a mother, who they cite as an example of a true person, can attribute “subjective” moral rights to the fetus or newborn, but they state this is only a projected moral status.

The authors counter the argument that these “potential persons” have the right to reach that potential by stating it is “over-ridden by the interests of actual people (parents, family, society) to pursue their own well-being because, as we have just argued, merely potential people cannot be harmed by not being brought into existence.”

And what about adoption? Giubilini and Minerva write that, as for the mother putting the child up for adoption, her emotional state should be considered as a trumping right. For instance, if she were to “suffer psychological distress” from giving up her child to someone else — they state that natural mothers can dream their child will return to them — then after-birth abortion should be considered an allowable alternative.

The authors do not tackle the issue of what age an infant would be considered a person.

The National Catholic Register thinks that these authors are right — once you accept their ideas on personhood. The Register states that the argument made by the ethicists is almost pro-life in that it “highlights the absurdity of the pro-abortion argument”:

---
The second we allow ourselves to become the arbiters of who is human and who isn’t, this is the calamitous yet inevitable end. Once you say all human life is not sacred, the rest is just drawing random lines in the sand.
---

First Things, a publication of the The Institute on Religion and Public Life, notes that while this article doesn’t mean the law could — or would — allow after-birth abortions in future medical procedures, arguments such as “the right to dehydrate the persistently unconscious” began in much the same way in bioethics journals.

-------------------------
Link to Journal of Medical Ethics:
http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/02/22/medethics-2011-100411.abstract


Added: Feb-28-2012 Occurred On: Feb-28-2012
By: copperdog3
In:
Politics
Tags: infant, contraception, abortion, murder, life, conception, religion, newborn, partial-birth, birth, ethics, medical, after-birth
Location: United States (load item map)
Views: 3949 | Comments: 43 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 210 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
You need to be registered in order to add comments! Register HERE
Sort by: Newest first | Oldest first | Highest score first
Liveleak opposes racial slurs - if you do spot comments that fall into this category, please report them for us to review.
  • im guessing the authors of this paper dont have children of there own, if they did there would be no way they would be spouting this load of shit

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (4) | Report

  • ignorant...plain and simple. the psychological frailty of a woman who can't manage her own uterus will cost the child it's life???? All abortions should be adoptions.

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (3) | Report

  • A human's life begins at conception. There are no if's, and's or but's about it. With that in mind, where are my rights as a man if I don't want her to have the baby?

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (3) | Report

  • was wondering when this bit of demonic insanity would raise its head. Molech is apparently still around.

    God forbid.

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (3) | Report

  • this world is fucked up man.

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (2) | Report

  • wow thats terrible. I'd like to know who the hell would have the heart to carry out such a terrible deed?

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (2) | Report

  • Comment of user 'bullarwithtzatziki' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Killing a new born baby is murder plain and simple, and those who do it will be held accountable when sanity and common sense rules the day not political correctness.

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (2) | Report

  • Shame on this people. SHAME. Taxpayer money wasted to promote this crap. I'm actually shocked in reading this paper.

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (2) | Report

    • Comment of user 'OwenHiggins' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • I think we should line up some Ethicists and exercise "after birth abortions".
    Way after birth.

    I have a newborn. She is a person. Fuck with her, I'll after-birth abortion YOU.

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (1) | Report

  • I support abortion up to 21 years! KIDDING, really this is messed up! 48 Hours after conception with the overnight pill. After that YOU OWN IT. If it's deformed and you have to spoon feed it til it's 80 IT'S YOURS!! So stay off the cold medicine. No more ward of the state...

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Comment of user 'OwenHiggins' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @OwenHiggins Not only that, Now we have determined that even if they are to be terminated they may be of use to the scientific community.

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

      (0) | Report

  • Fetus are not equal to newborn kids. If it has a fair chance it can live authonomically on it's own, it must be protected. You must be blinded with religion to state other. (more kids is more power to the church). If you don't want kids, use precautionary measures, or (if you want to) just fuck anally.

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (0) | Report

  • you crazy christians have been floating info-turds like this for years..
    All Hail Pope King Troll!

    Posted Feb-29-2012 By 

    (0) | Report

  • She is a philosopher, google the definition.

    She is putting a thought out there for debate, not for action.

    Posted Mar-4-2012 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Talk about a touchy subject, I can kind of understand what they were trying to achieve but once your born you have passed the point where you should be considered to be human in my opinion. I recognise that in the past entire societies have deliberately left children with defects for dead but I'm not so sure we should be pursing the same thing in our day and age.

    Adoption isn't really an option for a child with major disabilities as it takes a different kind of person to willingly take on the d More..

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Stem cell research should be at the forefront of every society on earth. During the civil war neuroscience was created because doctors and surgeons were able to experiment on actual people. You want real results in medicine then you are going to have to take it like a man.

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

    (0) | Report

  • as much as i do agree there are a wack load of degenrates havibng babies then turning to our tax dollars for money should be stopped this is not the way!, everntually having children will be a privilege not a right. Some may take offence to that but hey your gonna have to give up some freedoms for humans to survive and we cant feed the weak just because you think its morally right or in fact pay for the weak making our society weaker. its a dog eat dog world and i have no issues with population More..

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Neocons blame atheism in 5...4...3...2...1.....

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (0) | Report

  • It is, at any rate, an interesting thing to consider. What is a "person"? I think that if we consider how we view animals, and their rights, we end up thinking about the mental capacity of the animal. We assume that their mental capacity is limited based on their behaviour, and in the same way we judge the mental capacity of a baby, because it does not speak. We may find that a baby does not have the same capacities as other animals, but if a newborn can be a person, cannot an animal t More..

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (0) | Report

    • Comment of user 'OwenHiggins' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @OwenHiggins That doesn't really speak to the point he is making. Animals breathe without respirators.

      Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

      (0) | Report

  • Right, there's no difference between a 12 week old fetus and a newborn infant. <Sighs and shakes head at the ignorance>

    Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

    (-1) | Report

    • @picklethepug clearly there is but there looking at the otherside, if it was gonna die at that stage what difference does it make now..its a tuouchy subject but i see what they mean when the child is gonna be cared for by state funding, or grow up in a degenerate family only to live a degenerate life...

      Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

      (-1) | Report

    • @Noalias What difference does it make? Considering most abortions occur within the first 12 weeks, on one hand you have a mass of tissue the size of a gumball (at most) with no functioning nervous system and no way of living outside the womb, on the other you have a fully developed human being.

      Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

      (-1) | Report

    • @picklethepug Of course our conservative friend Copperdog's intent is to portray the ideas of these "ethicists" as the ideology of all pro-choice liberals and to eventually equate first trimester abortion with new born infanticide. Typical conservative slippery slope/ gap jumping logical fallacy.

      "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’. We take ‘person’ t More..

      Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

      (1) | Report

    • @BigDaddyHarrison Agreed.

      Posted Feb-28-2012 By 

      (0) | Report

  • Comment of user 'dakine' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • US doctor on trial for this right now. In Canada a judge has said it's ok and let the birther go after she murdered her newborn.

    Posted Apr-29-2013 By 

    (0) | Report