After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?

Department of Philosophy, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
Journal of medical ethics (Impact Factor: 1.51). 03/2012; 39(5). DOI: 10.1136/medethics-2011-100411
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "Some commentators believe that clinicians in the Netherlands have approached the bottom of a very slip - pery slope in their adoption of the Groningen protocol , which allows child euthanasia under certain conditions ( Jotkowitz and Glick , 2006 ) . Meanwhile , other European bioethicists push the underlying arguments further , even claiming that certain forms of infanticide might be prop - erly redesignated " after - birth abortion " ( Giubilini and Minerva , 2013 ) . Unsurprisingly , the latter paper gener - ated controversy worldwide , further reflecting the diver - sity of views in Europe on the value of life . "
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    ABSTRACT: End-of-life care practices and attitudes in Europe are highly diverse, which is unsurprising given the variety of cultural and religious patterns across this region. The most marked differences are in the legal and ethical stances towards assisted dying, although there are also variations in limitation of life-sustaining treatment and the authority of advance directives to decline such treatment. Palliative care has made a rapid and impressive development in many European countries over the last decade, and alleviating symptoms at the end of life is permitted, even if the drugs used might (in the rare case) not only relieve suffering but also shorten life. Fueled by the politically led process of European harmonization, future policies and laws on end-of-life care might converge. However, at the base of many ethical conflicts there remain deeply rooted differences about promoting the sanctity of life, eradicating suffering, and respecting patients' autonomous wishes.
    Handbook of Clinical Neurology 11/2013; 118:155-65. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-444-53501-6.00013-5
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    • "Should then the parents be the only judges in taking such a decision, as suggested recently by Giubilini and Minerva?9 Clinicians are sometimes confronted with parental demands of euthanasia which they perceive as abusive. In the few countries where euthanasia is legal in adult patients, parents sometimes believe that they have the right to take such decisions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Active ending of the life of a newborn baby is a crime. Yet its clandestine practise is a reality in several European countries. In this paper, we defend the necessity to institute a proper legal frame for what we define as active neonatal euthanasia. The only legal attempt so far, the Dutch Groningen protocol, is not satisfactory. We critically analyse this protocol, as well as several other clinical practises and philosophical stances. Furthermore, we have tried to integrate our opinions as clinicians into a law project, with the purpose of pinpointing several issues, specific of perinatality that should be addressed by such a law. In conclusion, we argue that the legalisation of neonatal euthanasia under exceptional circumstances is the only way to avoid all the "well-intentioned" malpractices associated with ending life at the very dawn of it.
    Clinical Ethics 06/2013; 8(2-3):75-84. DOI:10.1177/1477750913499494
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    • "See reference 1, para 12. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alberto Giubilini and Francesco Minerva's recent infanticide proposal is predicated on their personism and actualism. According to these related ideas, human beings achieve their moral status in virtue of the degree to which they are capable of laying value upon their lives or exhibiting certain qualities or being desirable to third-party family members. This article challenges these criteria, suggesting that these and related ideas are rely on arbitrary and discriminatory notions of human moral status. Our propensity to sleep, fall unconscious, pass out and so on, demonstrates that we often exhibit our status as 'potential persons' who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence. Our abilities, age and desirability can and do fluctuate. The equal dignity principle, distinguished in turn from both the excesses of vitalism and consequentialism, is analysed and defended in the context of human rights logic and law. The normalisation of non- and involuntary euthanasia, via such emerging practices as the self-styled Groningen Protocol, is considered. Substituted consent to the euthanasia of babies and others is scrutinised and the implications of institutionalising non-voluntary euthanasia in the context of financial, research and political interests are considered. The impact on the medical and legal professions, carers, families and societies, as well as public attitudes more generally, is discussed. It is suggested that eroding the value of human life carries with it significant destructive long-term implications. To elevate some, often short-term, implications while ignoring others demonstrates the irrational nature of the effort to institutionalise euthanasia.
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