Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Philosophers comments sparks outrage:

Australian philosophers have sparked outrage after arguing that killing newborn babies should be allowed if the mother wishes in a prestigious journal.
By Motherpedia
Date: March 02 2012
Tags: birth, baby,
Editor Rating:

Killing newborn babies should be allowed if the mother wishes, Australian philosophers have argued in a prestigious journal.

Their argument, that it is morally the same as abortion, has forced the British Medical Journal to defend its publication of their views, Fairfax Media reports.

Monash University's Alberto Giubilini and the University of Melbourne's Francesca Minerva say that a foetus and a newborn both lack a sense of life and aspiration.

They argue this justifies "after-birth abortion" on the proviso it is painless as the baby is not missing out on a life it cannot contemplate.

The doctors of philosophy argue that one-third of infants with Down syndrome are not diagnosed in the womb, which means mothers of children with severe disabilities should have the chance to end a child's life after, as well as before, birth.

However, the pair also want the principle of killing newborns extended to healthy babies, because a mother who is unwilling to care for it outweighs an infant's right to life.

The journal's editor, Julian Savulescu, told Fairfax Media the pair had received death threats since their views were published online last week.

Steve Clarke, the chief executive of the advocacy group Down Syndrome NSW, said the paper was ''very theoretical''.

''I don't think it does have any relevance or insight for the real world. It is so beyond our social mores and values that it is beyond the pale and I wouldn't want to dignify it with any further comment,'' he said.

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