The debate about after-birth abortion continues

Last year the Journal of Medical Ethics published an article by two philosophers claiming that the same arguments that support abortion also support abortion of newborns.

The article provoked strong reactions and I too felt I had to comment on the article here on The Ethics Blog.

What’s so provocative? I’m not so sure it is the conclusion that if we allow abortion we also should allow abortion of newborns. The two philosophers actually never concluded with any practical recommendations. They only wanted to theoretically explore the logic in the arguments for abortion.

And maybe this is what’s so provocative, or rather tragi-comical: the spirit in which one approaches questions of life and death as an entrepreneur might use the annual report to consider his reasons for terminating a project that can become a burden for the company.

Recently, the same journal reissued the article; this time with two editorials and a number of comments by ethicists (here).

The reissuing of the article reaffirms the attitude that the burning hot questions of life and death should be discussed as a rational entrepreneur manages his firm.

Should we allow infanticide? We’ll have to postpone decision until we’ve received the annual report from the neuroscientists on neonates’ capacity for thought.

Pär Segerdahl

We follow debates : The Ethics Blog

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