Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Immoral Proposal

At first, I thought this (linked below) had to be a satire a la Jonathan Swift because it was so outlandish. But I have the dark feeling that the authors of this evil proposal are serious, so I repressed throwing up long enough to write this post.

After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live? “Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.”

Do I really need to point out how awful this is? If a newborn baby isn’t a person, then when does someone become a person? The brain doesn’t stop developing until age 25, so am I still just a “potential person?” Should my parents have the right to kill me? The authors even say that a human is not always a person, but in some cases, animals can be persons. Nonsense logic like that should only exist in Lewis Carroll poems.

I found the worse line to be (and there were plenty to choose from), “Nonetheless, to bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.” So avoiding inconvenience is worth more than a life? According to the authors, yes, especially if the state as to pay for it.

In the world where this is acceptable, life only has value if a person is wanted, healthy, smart, and deemed useful to society. Anyone “inferior” can be cast aside. And the killing of “inferiors” is seen as a merciful act, reliving them and others of a difficult life. Well, guess what? Life is difficult. Life is full of suffering and sickness. But who gets to decide if someone else’s life is worth living?

There is already a term for “post-birth abortion.” It’s infanticide. Calling a child a fetus doesn’t make it less-than a child. Calling murder abortion doesn’t make it less-than murder. The authors say, “In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus.” Well, I actually agree with them there. The moral status of the newborn is comparable with that of a pre-born. I just happen to think neither should be killed while the authors seem to think both should.

Please, tell me I’m wrong about this. Tell me that this was a highly satirized article, and that I accidently wondered onto The Onion’s website disguised as a medical journal.

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