Bioethicists Argue for "After-Birth Abortion"
They wrote that killing newborns is logically sound
The paper posits that the act of killing a baby wouldn’t be categorized as infanticide or euthanasia.
Two Oxford bioethicists caused an outcry among pro-lifers when they argued that “after-birth abortion” — killing a newborn baby — is morally sound and should be made legal.
Alberto Giubilini from the University of Milan and Francesca Minerva from Melbourne University wrote in the Journal of Medical Ethics that fetuses and newborns “do not have the same moral status as actual persons.”
Controversial: Francesca Minerva says doctors should have the right to kill newborn babies because they are disabled, too expensive or simply unwanted by their mothers
The pair argue say that killing a baby should be “permissible in all cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled,” adding that “the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant.”
The paper posits that the act wouldn’t be categorized as infanticide, or euthanasia — since the killing wouldn't necessarily be in the newborn's best interest.
All Party Paliamentary Pro-Life Group has decried the controversial article.
The charity’s co-chairman, Lord Alton, told the Catholic Herald, “That the Journal of Medical Ethics should give space to such a proposition illustrates not a slippery slope, but the quagmire into which medical ethics and our wider society have been sucked.“
Julian Savulescu, the editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, defended the article on the British Medical Journal blog, claiming that similar arguments have been made in academic literature in the past.
“Many people will and have disagreed with these arguments. However, 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,” he said.
As for those who disagree, Savulescu said the journal will be “very willing” to consider opposing papers for publication.