BY IAN WISHART
The Journal of Medical Ethics has set a bombshell under the abortion movement worldwide, by admitting there is no moral, health or humanity difference between infant children and embryos, and they argue it should be legal to kill both.
The study argues in favour of infanticide, or what medical ethicists now want to re-name “post birth abortion’.
The study, by bioethicists at the University of Melbourne, Oxford University and the University of Milan, says there is fundamentally nothing different about a fetus or a baby – both depend on adults for the ongoing surival and therefore neither of them are fully-functioning human beings in the eyes of medical ethics.
On that basis, argue the ethicists, parents should not only have the uncontrolled right to terminate a pregnancy, they should be allowed to kill their children as well if they become inconvenient.
“If the death of a newborn is not wrongful to her on the grounds that she cannot have formed any aim that she is prevented from accomplishing, then it should also be permissible to practise an after-birth abortion on a healthy newborn too, given that she has not formed any aim yet.
“There are two reasons which, taken together, justify this claim:
“The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus, that is, neither can be considered a ‘person’ in a morally relevant sense.
“It is not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense.”
The report, published this week, has attracted widespread controversy, and is an exact fulfilment of predictions I made in my book Eve’s Bite recently.
But perhaps the most interesting legal twist is its admission that newborn babies are no different to fetuses, and are no less nor more human.
“The newborn and the fetus are morally equivalent
“The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.
“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, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons. Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. ”
If adopted into law, this logical position creates two possibilites: One, that child abuse on a dependent child is no longer a crime because the child has no inherent right to life, or Two, that abortion is actually murder of a human life, just as society currently regards murder of babies.
Either way, it may be the straw that finally opens the floodgates for the debate on child abuse and abortion.