Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Thanks Robby and Bob for your posts (here, here, and here) on the peer reviewed article advocating legalization of infanticide. The article's abstract sums it up arguing "that what we [the authors] 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."
This really isn't surpring to me. 32 years ago an editorial appeared in California Medicine, a publication of the Western Journal of Medicine. (I have a pdf of the original on file) It begins:
The traditional Western ethic has always placed great emphasis on the intrinsic worth and equal value of every human life regardless of its stage or condition. This ethic has had the blessing of the Judeo-Christian heritage and has been the basis for most of our laws and much of our social policy. ... This traditional ethic is still clearly dominant, but there is much to suggest that it is being eroded at its core and may eventually even be abandoned. This of course will produce profound changes ... in Western society.
[In the new ethic, which] will of necessity violate and ultimately destroy the traditional Western ethic ... [i]t will become necessary and acceptable to place relative rather than absolute values on such things as human lives, ... This is quite distinctly at variance with the Judeo-Christian ethic and carries serious philosophical, social, economic, and political implications for Western society and perhaps for world society.
Since the old ethic has not yet been fully displaced it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death. ... It is suggested that this schizophrenic sort of subterfuge is necessary because while a new ethic is being accepted the old one has not yet been rejected.
One may anticipate further development ... as the problems of birth control and birth selection are extended inevitably to death selection and death control whether by the individual or by society, and further public and professional determinations of when and when not to use scarce resources.