Nothing Left To Lose - Permissible Barbarism

Just a couple of weeks ago, in a post I titled Nothing Left To Lose, I noted that the Journal of Medical Ethics had published some musings on the subject of whether or not it was morally permissible to kill individuals who may be “universally and irreversibly disabled, because they have no abilities to lose” in order to harvest their organs.

Not content with musing on this barbarism, the Journal of Medical Ethics is also considering the subject of killing newborns, publishing the subject matter under the heading of After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?, with an abstract that reads as follows.

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.

Just another apologetic for permissible barbarisms.

The Silicon Graybeard, where I first read about this, comments on the subject in a post titled These Were Predictable.  DougM, at Sondrakistan, also comments on this subject in a post titled ethics 101: (no longer offered at these institutions), as does Donald Sensing in a post titled First, we kill all the newborns, and Keith Burgess-Jackson in a post titled Ethics.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/29 at 10:52 AM
  1. From the paper:

    we also need to consider the interests of the mother who might suffer psychological distress from giving her child up for adoption. . . It is true that grief and sense of loss may accompany both abortion and after-birth abortion as well as adoption, but we cannot assume that for the birthmother the latter is the least traumatic. . .

    What we are suggesting is that, if interests of actual people should prevail, then after-birth abortion should be considered a permissible option for women who would be damaged by giving up their newborns for adoption.

    I’d like to think that the authors have as their inspiration Swift or at least Sokal, but I just don’t feel all that confident.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/29  at  01:51 PM
  2. I’d like to think that the authors have as their inspiration Swift or at least Sokal, but I just don’t feel all that confident.

    I am not confident about that either, Linda, and my confidence is not boosted by the following either, which you posted from the paper.

    ...if interests of actual people should prevail,

    That comment, I would wager big, is articulated with poetic license by many individuals who presume to be our masters, whether in academia or the halls of government.

    Posted by John Venlet  on  02/29  at  02:54 PM
  3. The only good news about this story is this.  It really is inconceivable to me that more than a tiny minority of people would ever think that this is morally acceptable on any level.

    The paragraph about it being hunky dory to murder your child because adoption might make you feel uncomfortable takes my breath away.

    Posted by Peg  on  02/29  at  03:23 PM
  4. It really is inconceivable to me that more than a tiny minority of people would ever think that this is morally acceptable on any level.

    Peg, I would that this was so.  Then I recall the history of events and musings leading up to the Holocaust.

    Posted by John Venlet  on  02/29  at  03:44 PM
  5. Duh.

    As someone who lost distant relatives in the Holocaust, and who likely would have been exterminated herself had it not been for ancestors coming here earlier - and WWII - you would think I’d know that, John.

    Perhaps I should have qualified my statement with “right now, in our country….”

    But - even with that being said, I cannot tell you how many times I asked my mom why all the Jews didn’t leave Germany.  She would always respond:  “Germany was one of the best countries for the Jews.  By the time people realized the horror of what was occurring - it was too late to leave.”

    Posted by Peg  on  02/29  at  03:53 PM
  6. ...if interests of actual people should prevail,

    That comment, I would wager big, is articulated with poetic license…

    Poetic license, big time, for my money.  Get a load of who the authors include among the actual people:

    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. This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons. . . [Emphasis added]

    and

    If, in addition to experiencing pain and pleasure, an individual is capable of making any aims (like actual human and non-human persons), she is harmed if she is prevented from accomplishing her aims by being killed. Now, hardly can a newborn be said to have aims. . . [Emphasis added]

    Right.  Ha ha.  Ha ha ha.  Hoo boy, what a couple of jokers there.  They really had us going.  Wonder when they’ll announce the big hoax.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/29  at  04:55 PM
  7. You now live in the land of *Anythinggoes* where there are bazillions of rules and all of them are followed and not followed all at the same time.

    The most bizarre of thoughts become reality overnight and each day brings legions of more aberrations by demonic, chemically coaxed societal experiments. Let’s see how far we can stretch the non-existent envelope. If a gov’t can kill people writ large than why the concern over new borns?

    It can take all the useable parts and sell them to others for great profit. What 80 yo wouldn’t like to have a brand new heart or liver?

    Think of all the scientific/medical experimentation that could occur with this new found resource?

    Women that would normally have an abortion would be incited to complete the pregnancy and surrender the new born for the just cause for monetary gain.

    win-win

    and yes I am being facetious.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/03  at  11:33 AM

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