Bioethics is a strange field.  Not only are there no objective qualifications for being a bioethicist, but one need not even hold views that are deemed ethical by most morally sane people.  Indeed, it seems that the field of bioethics consists primarily of liberals who hold to a utilitarian philosophy of ethics in which almost everything is permissible.  That is why you can have bioethicists advocating infanticide in respectable bioethics journals like the Journal of Medical Ethics.  Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva wrote an article for the journal titled “After-birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?”[1] that appeared online February 23, 2012.

The abstract reads:

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.

While I disagree vehemently with their reasoning and conclusion, this is where the arguments for abortion logically lead one to.  The authors recognize that birth is a trivial and subjective dividing line for determining who is valuable and who is not; who can be killed and who cannot.

HT: Wesley Smith


[1]J Med Ethics doi:10.1136/medethics-2011-100411.

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