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  1. #1
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    Default Medical Ethics isn't, or Infanticide is okay.

    Infanticide is okay according to medical ethicists in the UK. This isn't ethical, it's evil.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/he...perts-say.html
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    What an astonishing article. I had no idea that such people existed. Perhaps they spent their time at Oxford in some kind of sleep-deprived isolation tank trying to simulate the effects of being an interplanetary traveller... they certainly don't seem to be inhabitants of any world that I live in.

    Fortunately, it would seem that their main purpose in life is to debate and discuss ethics. No doubt they have never lifted anything heavier than a pencil, nor experienced any hardship greater than the decision whether to have almonds or hazlenuts on their muesli.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webmaster View Post
    Infanticide is okay according to medical ethicists in the UK. This isn't ethical, it's evil.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/he...perts-say.html
    I could only make it through the first paragraph. It was like reading the notebooks of Josef Mengele. You are right, evil is the operative term here.

  4. #4
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    Well, from what I can see what they're doing is basically extending familiar pro-choice arguments to an unusual and (at least to me) somewhat disjointed degree, and I suspect what they're really trying to do is support the pro-life side of the abortion debate. I couldn't find the actual article, so I can't evaluate their arguments as such, but it appears that they're talking about a "person" in the moral sense rather than the strictly legal sense, claiming that an "unformed" personality isn't due the same protections as a fully formed personality, whatever that is. This is an old argument and a pretty tired one, and I don't understand why someone would try to make an academic name for themselves by rehashing it.

    Developmental psychologists and other scholars of cognition would disagree with Giubilini and Minerva's view of newborns, as is often the case when theoretical philosophers try to make sense of the world outside the university.

  5. #5
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    Minerva (Etruscan: Menrva) was the Roman goddess whom Romans from the 2nd century BC onwards equated with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the "owl of Minerva", which symbolizes her ties to wisdom.

    Giubilini, is this a pun on Jubilee, for this summer will see the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

    Julian Savulescu has his own page on Wiki which appears to explain his role in this. We know that Wiki is not a 100% reliable source for stuff like this, as it can still be amended and altered by biased editors.. but it makes for an interesting introduction to this strange world of ethics.

    I was hoping it was an early April Fool's day joke, but apparently not. If my tiny brain has understood it correctly, it looks like it might be a double-bluff brain-twister way of getting people to argue the opposite, just so that it strengthens the argument for making a decision on what Is or Isn't life, thereby giving the green light for stem cell and embryonic work. Or maybe my tiny brain is just not up to the clever stuff. Now I know why I didn't go to Oxford.
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  6. #6
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    Here is a link to the article

    http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/201...11-100411.full

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    A quick browse without looking up the footnotes etc. makes me think these people have gotten caught up in pointless word-twisting. Their argument seems to be based on a notion that only "actual persons," i.e. such individuals that have made definite "aims" and plans for their life, have a right to life. For some reason they have neglected to realize that even many legal adults would then fall into the category of "potential persons," the killing of which could be justified by putting forth much the same arguments that the authors are using. As a matter of fact they are suggesting that this is happening in the case of certain criminals in those places which still employ capital punishment, forgetting that such criminals generally have caused a great deal more damage to society than even the most financially and emotionally burdensome multihandicapped child potentially could.

    Like I said, some of the basic premises of their suggestions, like the level of self-awareness and conscious reactions of newborns and even late-term fetuses, are at odds with empirical research into behavioural patterns of infants, even if we quietly ignore the fact that it's really hard to determine such things as "consciousness" and "awareness" in the first place.

    They are also neglecting the fact that a "person" is as much defined by his or her surrounding community as by internal cognitive processes. The authors refer to families' view of the newborn having a distinct personality as "projection," and brush it aside as irrelevant, but apparently fail to realize that such a view is at odds with modern research suggesting that a great deal of our personality traits are congenital. Furthermore, it calls into question what they think happens with an individual's cognitive development later in life. It becomes very hard, in my opinion, to differentiate what is the persons own "aims" from what might be a reflexive and only semi-conscious fulfillment of family expectations.

  8. #8
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    The bottom line is that the authors are some sick evil bastards.
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    I agree with Robert!

    This kind of thinking must be stopped. It is only a matter of time until such thoughts become law. At that point, Death Panels will be a reality. Cass Sunnstein in his Complete Lives Theory addresses this issue with rationing of medical care proportionate to your contribution to society. This is the fullfillment of many science fiction scenarios that I read in my youth. I hope it does not become a Living Nightmare for us all.

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  10. #10
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    You can't stop people from thinking, but you CAN point out the flaws in their logic and demonstrate how an idea, if carried through, will lead to practices which are morally flawed although the starting point might not be.

    As far as I can tell, the views of the article authors are quite far from mainstream ideas in medical ethics - they're suggesting that the end justifies the means, which has not been an accepted moral doctrine except for some extreme circumstances.

  11. #11
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    A hundred years ago, the local doctor/midwife/WiseVillageElder would have quietly "thought the unthinkable" and quietly carried out infanticide in cases where modern science has enabled a possibility of life that simply wouldn't have been possible before. The decisions, ostensibly left to fate/destiny/God's-will, were not open for debate or open to scrutiny. Part of the purpose of a civilised society is to establish and maintain an ideal world.. as close as it can... and to define the rules that would make that happen. Without the people to do the thinking, then we don't get the bits of paper with the rules written on.
    If nothing else, then at least the ethics debates force us to think about what is right and what is oh so very wrong. I've been actually thinking a bit since I read the initial article, and believe me, that doesn't happen often.
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  12. #12
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    Talk about a natural progression...

    Dutch mobile euthanasia units to make house calls
    Robert M. Carver
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    "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." – Ayn Rand

    “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” - George Orwell

    "A man with a gun is a citizen. A man without a gun is a subject."

    "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Gerald Ford in a Presidential address to a joint session of Congress (12 August 1974)

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    To me, this is as unacceptable as, say, evaluating which ethnic group has the lowest academic test scores and having a "thought provoking" discussion about euthanasia for members of this group.

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    obviously both of these the persons responsible for this article are not parents. It's one thing to say you are pro-choice before you are a parent, it is another afterwards. I was head over heels in love with my son from the time I found out my wife was pregnant. I don't even know how anyone can consider it.
    Talking like a tough guy isn't working, that's why you need a gun

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramirez View Post
    I don't even know how anyone can consider it.
    We live in dark times Mark.
    Robert M. Carver
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    "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." – Ayn Rand

    “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” - George Orwell

    "A man with a gun is a citizen. A man without a gun is a subject."

    "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Gerald Ford in a Presidential address to a joint session of Congress (12 August 1974)

  16. #16
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    Just looks like some academics trying to make an argument with as much tension in the thesis as possible, trying to get people to discuss it. Don't know how manythe academic argumentative essays I wrote in school without believing in or caring about the topic or my thesis. That's just what academics do.

    Another note: Can someone explain the difference between a born baby and one 10 minutes earlier? In my gut I feel a difference but how does one verbalize it convincingly?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    Just looks like some academics trying to make an argument with as much tension in the thesis as possible, trying to get people to discuss it. Don't know how manythe academic argumentative essays I wrote in school without believing in or caring about the topic or my thesis. That's just what academics do.

    Another note: Can someone explain the difference between a born baby and one 10 minutes earlier? In my gut I feel a difference but how does one verbalize it convincingly?
    Erik,

    Your question goes to the heart of the abortion debate. I believe with every fibre of my being there is absolutely no difference. It is a child, a living being that has (should have) all the rights of those humans who are already born. Traveling down the birth canal and into the world does not change it's DNA, it's heart beat or it's potential. For those who follow Judeo-Chritian beliefs, its soul is present at conception.

    It is totally illogical, that in some hospitals, on the same floor, doctors fight to save the life of a 5 month premature baby but will kill a fully formed baby moments before it draws its first breath.

    Here's a link to a show I watched last night on EWTN (the March 1 episode). Melissa Ohden survived being aborted. Watch the show, it will force you to think.

    http://www.ewtn.com/tv/live/lifeontherock.asp

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  18. #18
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    Robert M. Carver
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    "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." – Ayn Rand

    “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” - George Orwell

    "A man with a gun is a citizen. A man without a gun is a subject."

    "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Gerald Ford in a Presidential address to a joint session of Congress (12 August 1974)

  19. #19
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    Just proves that overeducated idiots still exist and that they are willing to lie to justify murder.

    Dennis
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    "Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say"



    Well that much is true.
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