March 27, 2012

IT BEGINS WITH HATING HUMANITY:

Declaring War on Newborns: The disgrace of medical ethics. (Andrew Ferguson, 3/24/12, Weekly Standard)

As "After-birth Abortion" spread around the world and gained wide publicity​--​that damned Internet ​--​non-ethicists greeted it with derision or shock or worse. The authors and the editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics were themselves shocked at the response. As their inboxes flooded with hate mail, the authors composed an apology of sorts that non-ethicists will find more revealing even than the original paper.

"We are really sorry that many people, who do not share the background of the intended audience for this article, felt offended, outraged, or even threatened," they wrote. "The article was supposed to be read by other fellow bioethicists who were already familiar with this topic and our arguments." It was a thought experiment. After all, among medical ethicists "this debate"​--​about when it's proper to kill babies​--​"has been going on for 40 years."

So that's what they've been talking about in all those panel discussions! The authors thought they were merely taking the next step in a train of logic that was set in motion, and has been widely accepted, since their profession was invented in the 1960s. And of course they were. The outrage directed at their article came from laymen​--​people unsophisticated in contemporary ethics. Medical ethicists in general expressed few objections, only a minor annoyance that the authors had let the cat out of the bag. A few days after it was posted the article was removed from the publicly accessible area of the Journal's website, sending it back to that happy, cozy world.

You'd have to be very, very well trained in ethics to see the authors' argument as a morally acceptable extension of their premises, but you can't deny the logic of it. The rest of us will see in the argument an extension of its premises into self-evident absurdity. Pro-lifers should take note. For years, in public argument, pro-choicers have mocked them for not following their belief in a fetus's humanity to its logical end. Shouldn't you execute doctors who perform abortions? Why don't you have funerals for miscarriages?

As one pro-choice wag, writing about the Republicans' pro-life platform, put it in the Washington Post a few years ago: "The official position of the Republican Party is that women who have abortions should be executed."

And now we know the pro-choice position is that children born with a facial deformity should be executed too, as long as you get to them quick enough. Unwittingly the insouciant authors of "After-birth Abortion" have shown where pro-choicers wind up if they follow their belief about fetuses to its logical end. They've performed a public service. Could it be that medical ethicists really are more useful than aromatherapists?
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Posted by at March 27, 2012 6:32 AM
  

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