52 1 min 10 yrs

To talk utter stupidity a background in academia is a major help;

Doctors should have the right to kill newborn babies because they are disabled, too expensive or simply unwanted by their mothers, an academic with links to Oxford University has claimed.

Francesca Minerva, a philosopher and medical ethicist, (sighs)  argues a young baby is not a real person and so killing it in the first days after birth is little different to aborting it in the womb. Even a healthy baby could have its life snuffed out if the mother decides she can’t afford to look after it, the article published by the British Medical Journal group states.

The sheer callousness is impressive, albeit in a deranged sort of way.

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52 thoughts on “BABIES ARE NOT PEOPLE?

  1. I was about to post upon this true example of a raving lunatic when I saw that you had got there before me!

    The adjective in the article which I disagree with is the word ‘academic’. Such a word implies a level of reasoning which seems far beyond this troubled woman. She brings ‘Academia’ into disrepute by her very claim to be included into its ranks, never mind the ranks of Human Beings.

    In her revolting warblings lie the gross and repulsive tones of Fascism at its very worst. with the overtones of ‘eugenics’ never far from her lips.

    I reckon a short spell of service in a nice maternity hospital, showing her how real people live and treat their new-born families might turn her into a sentient creature, but there again I am maybe expecting too much!

  2. I’m becoming more convinced the world’s cranks are steadily gravitating towards medicine. Yes, this is a call for infanticide in a BMJ publication, it’s not some far corner of the web. Clearly no editor thought it beyond the pale.

    Bear in mind also that policy doesn’t really come from politicians. Much of it comes from senior civil servants who have been lobbied/persuaded/got at by the kind of cranks, weirdos, perverts and eugenicists (that’s never far from their minds) who argue for infanticide in a BMJ publication.

  3. Our masters seem to think that all power resides with them and that they can change what we believe or were brought up to believe with little difficulty if they so wish. Here, for example, we have a respected Medical Journal publishing a call to allow doctors, at the request of mothers, to kill new born babies that are disabled or or too costly for the mother to raise or plain just not wanted. How can the author, Francesca Minerva, lay claim to be a medical ethicist? But beware, there was a time when abortion was a crime. Some would like us to regard infanticide in the same light.

  4. The meaning of the term ” ethics ” has shifted.

    ” Do no harm ” is still the starting point. Or is it?

  5. The top tier of the medical Establishment in the UK and US has become totally perverted by money. The corporate pharmaceuticals have either bribed the incumbents on the min committees or put their own placemen in directly. Not only the BMA, BDA and BMJ but also the main medical research charities have been co-opted. Examples are many but one which stands out is an MMR vaccine which was used in Canada and found to cause dangerous reactions in young children so it was banned by the Canadians. However, the corporate-pharma simply renamed it and got it approved by the BMA for use in the UK.

  6. And who told you this?

    Surely for such massive allegations, there would be lots of proof

  7. There is even a case of a highly-promising treatment against cancer which needed funding. This was refused by corporate-pharma because the chemical isn’t patentable, and none of the ‘foundations’ are stepping up to fund it either. These ‘foundations’ are not intending to act in the interests of humanity. The medical charities won’t fund the research because their Boards of Control are in the clutches of corporate-pharmaceuticals.

  8. As any sort of philosophic contribution, this has to be one of the more perverted examples from the very bowels of Academia.

    Reading more like an outline for some dark futuristic Hollywood sci-fi, than any serious contribution to the welfare of mankind in general, it could only have been dreamed of by folks with a very serious mental problem.

    Surely a true philosophic statement is made up of a number of factors, not least, of which, is the consideration of mankind’s future happiness, mental and physical well being.

    The authors of this ‘op[nion’, must surely live in a very dark world, and have little appreciaion or concept of the forces that drive nature and our ideas of humanity.

    For myself, I rather prefer the philosophy we have had for the past couple of millenia. To many, a religion, but to most of us also a philosophy in every sense of the word.

    First we had abortion by choice, now we go a step further. Give a ‘liberal’ and inch and they will always take a mile…

  9. when Obama was a senator he mostly voted “present” out of the ten votes he actually cast a hard decision on, was a bill the he sponsored and pushed that had almost the same wording, and was for the same cause.

    now I am not anti abortion, I believe it is a life, I believe when you abort a child, it is that a child. I do not however believe that I have the right to impose my view on that choice for someone else. Young girls do stupid things, but it is between them and god.

    But when you try to abort a child and it lives, to be born and you then kill it. That’s MURDER

  10. On corporate suppression of effective cancer therapy:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10971

    – It sounds almost too good to be true: a cheap and simple drug that kills almost all cancers by switching off their “immortality”. The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), has already been used for years to treat rare metabolic disorders and so is known to be relatively safe.

    It also has no patent, meaning it could be manufactured for a fraction of the cost of newly developed drugs.

    Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and his colleagues tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body and found that it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but not healthy cells. Tumours in rats deliberately infected with human cancer also shrank drastically when they were fed DCA-laced water for several weeks.

    DCA attacks a unique feature of cancer cells: the fact that they make their energy throughout the main body of the cell, rather than in distinct organelles called mitochondria. This process, called glycolysis, is inefficient and uses up vast amounts of sugar.

    Until now it had been assumed that cancer cells used glycolysis because their mitochondria were irreparably damaged. However, Michelakis’s experiments prove this is not the case, because DCA reawakened the mitochondria in cancer cells. The cells then withered and died (Cancer Cell, DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2006.10.020).-

    – These may have to be funded by charities, universities and governments: pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to pay because they can’t make money on unpatented medicines. The pay-off is that if DCA does work, it will be easy to manufacture and dirt cheap. –

    “Easy to manufacture and dirt cheap” is not what big-pharma wants. People on chemo is a good business plan, but curing disease is not very profitable so anything which would do so will be suppressed by their placemen and the media, also corporately-owned, certainly won’t be mentioning the policy. Of course, such good treatments will be made available to the members of the ‘clique’. This is an example of where a philanthropist should step in, but ‘philanthropists’ don’t act for the benefit of the rest of us, no matter what Phantom may say.

  11. On the MMR vaccine withdrawn in Canada owing to safety reasons (meningitis) but re-named and used in the UK:

    – When the decision was taken to introduce MMR in the UK, SmithKline French-Beecham (SKFB) as the British company was apparently then called, did not have a licensed product in the UK. In fact, their own Urabe-containing MMR vaccine, sold under the name Trivirix, was withdrawn in Canada for safety reasons in July 1998 in the same month that the same vaccine under a different name (Pluserix) was granted a license in the UK. –
    Page 66, Callous Disregard, Dr Andrew Wakefield, ISBN-10 1-61608-169-4

  12. Allan@Aberdeen –

    Interesting stuff, I’ve not heard of DCA before.

    Also interesting is the update link at the top of the piece. That some entrepreneurs started to sell DCA is unsurprising. This is simply the market responding to need, it’s the most natural thing.

    Also unsurprising is that the FDA then came in and shut them down.

  13. I am always amazed at the inconsistency of the legal reasoning in respect of abortion. In fairness, Minerva is being consistent with the twisted logic of the abortion laws. We don’t live in an age of relativity, but an age of selective relativity.

    If I hit a non-pregnant woman in the stomach, I get a community sentence. If I hit a pregnant woman in the stomach and this induces her to miscarry, I get a jail sentence for “murdering” the infant. If I get a medical licence and I surgically destroy the unborn child of a pregnant woman, I get praised by the chattering classes as humane and an upholder of “human rights.” Now, can anyone explain such convoluted logic?

  14. Pete – the corporates have their monitor here. Look at Phantom’s comments – nothing other than an apologist for corporates.

    The medical authorities have been hijacked by the pharmaceutical industry. One of my colleagues has a 4-year-old daughter who has diabetes, diagnosed shortly after having received a polyvalent vaccine. Diabetes is a ‘good business’ illness: the sufferer lives a near-normal lifetime and uses big-pharma’s products.

    On the latest step towards a totalitarian world, first was abortion as a life-style choice (the ‘medical’ arguments were just a cloak and worded appropriately), but when Bill Clinton approved partial-birth abortion, where the victim is induced as a birth and, just prior to leaving its killer mother completely as a viable baby, its head is penetrated by a suction tool and its brain sucked out – and a doctor(?) does this – it was a simple step towards murder after birth. There is no doubt that this will make ‘progress’. Little wonder that the BMA, BDA and BMJ are now so perverse.

  15. If killing a newborn is murder, why isn’t killing a fetus murder? The logical beginning point of human life is conception. And, it is a fundamental duty of society to prevent murder.

    But why does the above quoted academic stop with newborns? Teenagers are expensive to look after and are often troublesome: Is there not more reason to get rid of at least some of them?

  16. Regarding DCA, where in the article does it say that there is corporate suppression? Where does it say that the FDA is shutting them down?

  17. FO –

    At the top of that piece there’s a link to an update. You’ll find it there.

  18. Birth begins at delivery and the cutting of the umbilical cord. Termination of pregnancy before hand is purely the woman’s perogative. The foetus is her property.

  19. Colm

    The “foetus” is a human. Is the woman a slaveholder? Or do you believe that magically the preborn becomes a human upon delivery? You believe that one minute the “foetus” is not a human and a minute later it is a human? If a minute or so makes the difference between non-human and human, why not make it days or years instead of minutes? That is the logic of the academic cited above.

  20. New Yorker

    No it is not the logic of the academic. It is the logic of a human who realises that this world and it’s adherents are not perfect. You can choose to believe that life begins at conception and the embryo has as much legal rights as the adult carrier, or you can believe that the foetus is a part of the body owned by the mother and it is her right to choose to carry it to term or not. Neither option is more moral than the other, both are just ethical choices and I choose the latter.

  21. Colm – where do you place partial-birth abortion?

    As another point, I saw women protesters pictured outside a court house in the US recently with banners reading “I regret my abortion”. Do you think there would ever be women declaring the opposite as in “I wish that I’d had an abortion”?

  22. Allan

    I place partial birth abortion in the category as within the perogative of the mother.

  23. I’ve never met anyone who I can say genuinely believes that a person becomes a person at conception.
    Although certainly a lot of people think they believe it or pretend they believe it.

  24. Noel – I agree. Only the most zealous pro-lifer would make that argument. But clearly and visibly, within the womb, that foetus becomes a person.

    Colm – do you think that there are women who regret having had their child and would state so openly?

  25. Allan

    It is a rare woman who would say openly they regret having had the child that they gave birth to, but that in my opinion does not at all undermine the right of woman to have an abortion.

  26. “If a human life is not human life at conception ”

    Pete, “human life” is too vague a term. Sperm is both life and in some sense human, yet masturbation is not genocide.

    Similarly very many – I believe most, in fact – fertilised ova are soon jettisoned and end their short lives with more or less as little ceremony as the spilt sperm.
    Strangely, no inquiries instigated, no tears shed.
    Further down the line, even a very high percentage of embedded fertilised ova are soon lost. Again no uproar. In fact, most people aren’t even aware of it or take the trouble to find out, and the ProLife activists scarcely spare a thought for what according to their “arguments” is a daily holocaust.

    Do you think ProLifers or people like NewYorker go into mourning every time a women gets her period after thinking she was pregnant (she usually was)?

    Of course not. And even more tellingly, would they – say, when they are visiting the doc and he asks them how many people are still in the waiting room open, open the door and ask each women if she is pregnant, and then give the doctor the number of folk they can see plus number of foetuses as the real number of people outside.

    Again, they behave exactly the same as people who believe a person’s life starts at birth. All that stuff about life beginning at conception is just pious and unthinking argument, usually due to sentimentality or to make them feel good with themselves.

  27. Colm

    The only logical place for the start of human life is conception when growth commences. There are then two human lives involved. Where would you suggest human life begins?

    The academic is saying that killing newborns in the first few days is really the same as abortion. So, the question stands, if a few days, why not a few weeks or years.

  28. Colm – studies in Finland (I’m on my home PC at the moment – links at the office) showed that the suicide rate of women who had abortions then regrets was several times higher than the base rate. This indicates that there had not been sufficient time for consideration nor advice on the reality of an abortion. As far as I’m aware, no woman has committed suicide because she gave birth instead of having an abortion. In short, giving birth is natural: an induced abortion is against nature hence the resultant suicide rate.

    PSamuels at 4.45 has it about right.

  29. Allan

    I do not claim and never would that Abortion is a ‘pain fee’ choice, but does forceably restricting it solve anything ? .

    PS – PSamuels 4.45 comment is completely devoid of logic. he (or she) needs to understand the difference between choice and force.

  30. Colm – if an unborn child is of no value and can be aborted by law then why is its termination by other means a crime? Your life has value and terminating it is criminal, is it not? Is there a means of someone terminating your life (without your consent – but another matter altogether) and it not being criminal?

  31. Allan

    Your first sentence is so devoid of logic or intelligent reasoning that surely given some though to it, you must be embarrased to have uttered it.

  32. Colm – PSamuel put the question as to why abortion of a foetus is legal yet termination by assault on a pregnant woman is a crime? The end result is the same yet one method is a crime and the other is a woman “exercising her rights”. Why is that?

  33. “The end result is the same yet one method is a crime and the other is a woman “exercising her rights””

    Allan, on that score, PSamuel may as well wonder why consensual sex is ok but rape a crime.

  34. Allan

    If you can freely and legally choose to undergo surgical/dental/cosmetic treatment, cut you hair, have a face lift, pierce you ears etc. etc. or indeed simply have sex with another person does that mean that someone else can come along and against your will force the same things on you ?. Why not? After all the end result is the same surely ?

  35. Colm/Noel

    The “foetus” is not merely part of the woman’s body. Medical science now has proven that the child in the woman has an entirely different DNA from the natural mother so that ends that argument. It is also conceived from a sperm cell from the father, which is independent of the woman’s body. So where is the “scientific evidence” that it is merely part of the woman?

    My point in the convoluted legal logic was the recognition in one instance that something serious had happened when a baby is forcibly terminated by a physical blow. The punishment for that is far higher that the punishment for merely inflicting a blow on a non-pregnant woman of the same force. No one argues in the criminal court that “never mind the dead “foetus” was just part of the woman” and should be treated as nothing more than e.g. the loss of a tooth in a fight. We all intuitively recognise that this is not true. But many try and sear their conscience when it comes to abortion by overturning common sense.

    The bottom line is that the question of what constitutes life is a moral question. As such, science cannot help us to draw such lines. Society is not an accurate guide as it is in constant flux e.g. homosexuality/abortion good one day and polygamy/paedophilia bad. Reverse the clock 30 years and you get a different line in the sand. I suggest that the only objective measure to determine moral choices must come from a transcendant being independent of society and science. That is a bit of a problem for atheists. When the creature is stuck – try asking the Creator. I would rather have His opinion than the Colm/Noel Cunninghams of this world. I don’t want teenage children to be the next victim of his evolving morality!

  36. Colm

    You state, “Independent life starts when the umbilical cord is cut.” The question you were asked was “Where would you suggest human life begins?” Clearly you did not answer the question asked. What is the difficulty answering the question?

  37. Pete,

    “If a human life is not human life at conception then what is it?
    A vegetable?”

    If a human life is not human life at meiosis then what is it? A vegetable?

    Therefore an ovum or sperm is a human life, and since so many of these die of natural causes, we have the greatest public health emergency of all time on our hands. Incidentally that’s also true of fertlised ova – more of them die before term than not.

    Shouldn’t the people who claim these deaths are the same as deaths of children be concerned about that? Shouldn’t somebody at least be out on the street shaking a tin to collect money for them? And no, it’s not true that nothing can be done about it.

    As for the main article, the “academic with links to Oxford” is wrong. It is not a moral issue but a legal one, and the law is very clear that an infant is a person. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

  38. PSamuels,

    “So where is the “scientific evidence” that it is merely part of the woman?”

    The scientific evidence is that the woman cannot leave it in the living room to go answer the door.

  39. PSamuels,

    “I suggest that the only objective measure to determine moral choices must come from a transcendant being independent of society and science. That is a bit of a problem for atheists”

    That’s a bit of a problem for anyone, because there is nothing objective about people’s views of what a transendant being (which may or may not exist) thinks about anything.

    “Society is not an accurate guide as it is in constant flux e.g. homosexuality/abortion good one day and polygamy/paedophilia bad.”

    And religion is better? Torturing and burning people at the stake good one day, next day bad.

    And of course, some of them still getting to grips with the “paedophilia is bad” thing.

  40. As for the main article, the “academic with links to Oxford” is wrong. It is not a moral issue but a legal one, and the law is very clear that an infant is a person

    Frank – it is clear that people such as the academic are the trail-blazers for the law and that ‘post-birth abortio’n will firstly become a point of discussion, and then ‘pressure groups’ will emerge and then, when the great mass is busy watching X-Factor, a clause will be slipped into some apparently innocuous Bill and a new-born baby will only become a person when its birth certificate is signed – that’s all the medical profession needs.

  41. This a.m. on some tv channel or other, I heard this notion of ‘post birh abortion’described as being an example of ‘progressive thinking’. Surely the correct word is ‘regressive’?

    Also discussed, under the same ‘progressive’ label, was the Dutch idea of mobile euthenasia clinics, – similar to an ambulance, but with a very different purpose. I wonder if they dial ‘666’, rather than ‘999’, to call them.

    Both of these ideas could loosely fall under the label of eugenics, an ideaology that has been soundly rejected, at great expense in lives lost during the last century, and yet here we have it resurfacing again, and in Academia of all places. What a sad, sick place it must be…

  42. And religion is better? Torturing and burning people at the stake good one day, next day bad.
    And of course, some of them still getting to grips with the “paedophilia is bad” thing.

    Frank

    I am not defending the charlatans on the Tiber. Any counterfeit “Christian” faith that can absolve a terrorist in a full Christian burial for murdering Protestants yet excommunicate a woman for having an abortion is not worthy of the title Christian or even religious! The Bible presents the moral law of God as immutable and eternal. That will do for me.

    Your argument about it being part of the woman merely because she cannot set it to one side to answer the door is specious. How is suicide and self-mutilation then not inalienable rights protected under the legal system then? Why do the courts insist on the biological sperm donor having access rights to the born child if it was simply part of the woman all along? The loops you have to go through to be a selective relativist is amazing. Atheism – doesn’t it just do wonders for helping us to think! Yeah, let’s have more atheists like Stalin and Pol Pot! Someone ennoble Lord Dawkins quick…..

  43. These academics are arguing that killing a baby outside the womb is little different to abortion. Therefore abortion is little different to killing a new-born baby.

  44. PSamuels,

    “The Bible presents the moral law of God as immutable and eternal. That will do for me.”

    Too bad then that it had not one word to say about abortion and so much to say about diet and seafood.

    Regarding infanticide, it seems more to condone it. Not only does it often demand it, but even Abraham was feted for his willingness to do it. I shudder to think how many would have been slaughtered had that fiction ended differently.

    “How is suicide and self-mutilation then not inalienable rights protected under the legal system then? ”

    Your arm is part of your body – I assume even you will agree with this. If suicide and self-mutilation were not inalienable rights, would that mean that it wasn’t?

    “Your argument about it being part of the woman merely because she cannot set it to one side to answer the door is specious”

    If you really want to pretend it is not part of the woman, then you’ll have no objection if they go their separate ways, will you?

    “Why do the courts insist on the biological sperm donor having access rights to the born child if it was simply part of the woman all along?”

    A born child is not part of the woman – not only can she leave it while she answers the door, a born child can be in London and the mother can be in New York.

  45. Allan,

    “These academics are arguing that killing a baby outside the womb is little different to abortion. Therefore abortion is little different to killing a new-born baby.”

    Good point – and it proves their premise is wrong. The differences are obvious.

    “a clause will be slipped into some apparently innocuous Bill and a new-born baby will only become a person when its birth certificate is signed – that’s all the medical profession needs.”

    Don’t be silly – nobody is clamouring for this. Not only that but even if that happened, it could still be argued to remain illegal, even retrospectively, so that any doctor could be prosecuted for it.

  46. Don’t be silly – nobody is clamouring for this.

    Frank – this discussion document could not have got out without the approval of somebody higher up the power chain. It has been released to see what will happen in the present as an indicator for its potential in the future. If a woman can have an abortion because pregnancy will disrupt her holiday plans then post-birth aborion is not so far away.

  47. Allan,

    “If a woman can have an abortion because pregnancy will disrupt her holiday plans then post-birth aborion is not so far away.”

    That’s rubbish, not least of all because there is no such thing as post-birth abortion, it’s a contradiction in terms. Abortion is to end a pregnancy, and a pregnancy that ends in live birth is already over.

    Furthermore there are already restrictions on late-term abortions (largely because such pregnancies can be almost immediately ended with live births). There are people trying to push the time limit back further but hardly anyone is calling for it to go the other way.

    Nor do you have any grounds to complain about a woman’s reasons for having an abortion – you are perfectly free to refuse to give blood, for example. That affects real children, and your reasons don’t have to be good or even given. That’s true even though it would be far less of an imposition on you, compared to mandating continued pregnancy and childbirth.

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