According to an article published by the BMJ Journal of Medical Ethics, currently getting a lot of press, it’s all right to kill babies. Abortion, even “late term abortion,” is not the issue here. The authors, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, adopt the pro-life argument that there is no essential difference between a child in the mother’s womb, and a child newly born. They then turn this argument on its head, to say if it is permissible to abort the unborn child, then it is permissible to kill the newborn.
Their clinching argument comes from an examination of 18 European birth registries. Apparently, Down’s syndrome was diagnosed pre-natally in only 64 percent of cases. In 36 percent it thus came as a surprise. If the presence of Down’s syndrome, which the authors call a “disease,” is reason enough to kill a “foetus,” why should the parents of such an infant be put to the burden of keeping it, through the ill-luck of a missed diagnosis? Alternatively, why should the State be put to the expense?
As the father of a beloved Down’s syndrome son, the reader will imagine how much this argument disgusts me. But long before that (pre-natally undiagnosed) child was born, I associated eugenic arguments with the pointed Darwinism of Hitler.
Such “emotional” objections are obviated by the authors, for they go on to find no objection to any argument parents might have for killing their newborn child. (Maybe they wanted a boy and got a girl “by mistake”?)
More. The authors of the paper want to call the practice post-birth abortion, so that it can become morally acceptable.
A trial balloon? For sure. If the idea takes off, it will be interesting to see where supporters stand on Darwinism and atheistic materialism generally.