If you are not a social authoritarian in love with big government and worry about the personal ramifications for freedom if health care is federalized, here is a chilling idea from the home of socialized medicine - Great Britain. Well, sort of Great Britain, now one of them is in Australia.
Their article shows the slippery slope of choice - basically, if abortions are okay, so is infanticide and if one is not okay, neither is the other. Which means, of course, anything is okay if the 'elites' determine fitness. Eugenics is making a big resurgence in the progressive mindset.
Proponents of abortion carefully choose a more clinical term 'fetus' when talking about unborn babies. That makes sense. No one wants to come across as hurting babies, unless you are a group of medical ethicists (yes, you read that right) at Oxford. Then they get to ask why babies get some super special free pass from being euthanized.
Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva write in BMJ's Journal of Medical Ethics "Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health." It is not a health issue? We are told all of the million abortions that occur per year in America are necessary or women will die in back alleys. But in California we are also told that women will die unless Barbara Boxer gets elected to the Senate every six years so it's hard to keep track of what is medically valid. Regardless, 40 years later the crime rate is down and the "Freakonomics" guys showed us abortion had a lot more to do with it than hiring cops so no one is undoing Roe vs. Wade any time soon.
Our friendly ethicists then make the ethical argument that since we allow abortion on demand for any reason - and we must, including the gender of the baby, or else women will die - there is no special exemption for just being born, logically. If there is no special circumstance for being a newborn, it must be ethical to hit the baby with an ice pick and vacuum out its brains, just like you can do before it is born. They write "‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled."
Sounds creepy, right? Well, if social science is valid and a woman claims a child with anything she doesn't like puts her mental health at risk, ethical logic says it should be okay to kill the baby. And if the baby is ugly, like with Treacher-Collins syndrome (TCS), it should also be okay to kill it. If that sounds more like sophistry than logic, well, it is.
I got no dog in the abortion fight, obviously. It's clear that if a subset of people want to euthanize their progeny we shouldn't prevent it but since this article was in the Journal of Medical Ethics it kind of sticks out as something we need to discuss. BMJ is one of the world's top companies for peer-reviewed work.
We also have to applaud them a little for publishing it. Science, like much of liberal and progressive culture, has gotten perhaps a little too politically correct. It has been difficult to discuss valid issues - and perhaps dismiss them on the evidence - because a culture war breaks out when a special interest feels like they are being slighted. Newborns can't talk which means they can't mobilize Twitter protests either. Maybe that is part of why these Oxford ethicists are okay with whacking them.
The journal’s editor, Professor Julian Savulescu, who is also director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and worked with the two writers, wrote in a blog posting,“The goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view. It is to present well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises.”
In that light, he said he would also publish a well-reasoned argument on getting rid of abortions altogether because society does not allow infanticide. In most instances, I would bet such an article would never be considered 'well-reasoned' by academics who don't want to be the target of a witch hunt, but I believe Savulescu here. He is sticking his head on the chopping block allowing this to go out so I think he means what he says.
More: Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say by Stephen Adams, The Telegraph
Infanticide - The Argument In Favor
- An Exercise In Immersion: Peter Singer, Harriet McBryde Johnson And Composition Students
- Euthanasia: Slope For Newborns Not That Slippery Yet
- Eugenics: Is Genetically Engineering Babies A Moral Obligation?
- Ethical Debate: Choosing Gender Of Babies Is A Parental Right
- Is The Government Putting Medical Ethics At Risk?