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...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.”
In promoting barbarism under the banner of "medical ethics," Savulescu is turning his field of study into an unenlightened, illiberal, atavistic charnelosophy, hardly distinguishable from the moral codes of the 20th century's most industrious sociopaths. If the field medical "ethics" becomes morally repugnant, can medical ethicists expect to remain relevant?
I wonder if this "ethicist," Julian Savulescu, has thought about where all this could go.
What if newly enlightened legislatures around the world, inspired by Savulescu's persuasive brilliance, began passing "Savulescu laws," leading to a spike in infanticide.
Consider the possibilities... thousands of slaughter houses killing millions of fresh babies every year.
How about a bloody infanticide mill near Julian Savulescu's home? I'm sure it would boost the local economy.
There's no need to use expensive anesthesia for these nonpersons, right? The spine tingling screams could be heard far and wide. Music to Savulescu's ears?
What about devioius medical experiments? How about using healthy babies as lab rats before they're exterminated? It could be a great money-making opportunity for cash-strapped parents who are planning to kill their child anyway. Why waste a perfectly good opportunity to advance medical science?
Sometimes it's a good idea to move away from ivory tower abstractions to think about gritty reality.
UPDATE: Poor Savulescu can't take the heat...
What is disturbing is not the arguments in this paper nor its publication in an ethics journal. It is the hostile, abusive, threatening responses that it has elicited. More than ever, proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.
Hostile. Abusive. Threatening.
Coming from someone promoting the extermination of children, that's an interesting choice of words.
Dr Francesca Minerva, CAPPE,
University of Melbourne,
Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia;