Skip to main content

NY Times makes the "Schiavo Argument" for Baby Euthanasia

Jim Holt: Euthanasia for Babies?

NY Times Magazine Contributor Jim Holt makes the "Schiavo Argument" for infant euthanasia:


"Infanticide -- the deliberate killing of newborns with the consent of the parents and the community -- has been common throughout most of human history. In some societies, like the Eskimos, the Kung in Africa and 18th-century Japan, it served as a form of birth control when food supplies were limited. In others, like the Greek city-states and ancient Rome, it was a way of getting rid of deformed babies. (Plato was an ardent advocate of infanticide for eugenic purposes.) But the three great monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all condemned infanticide as murder, holding that only God has the right to take innocent human life. Consequently, the practice has long been outlawed in every Western nation.

This year, however, a new chapter may have begun in the history of infanticide. Two physicians practicing in the Netherlands, the very heart of civilized Europe, this spring published in The New England Journal of Medicine a set of guidelines for what they called infant ''euthanasia.'' The authors named their guidelines the Groningen protocol, after the city where they work. One of the physicians, Dr. Eduard Verhagen, has admitted to presiding over the killing of four babies in the last three years, by means of a lethal intravenous drip of morphine and midazolam (a sleeping agent). While Verhagen's actions were illegal under Dutch law, he hasn't been prosecuted for them; and if his guidelines were to be accepted, they could establish a legal basis for his death-administering work."

At first I'm reading this and thinking, "Here comes the "Schiavo Argument for killing the Patient" - you know, "Well, their life ain't worth a plug nickel anyway, let's put 'em out of their misery!"

Then reading further, what do you know? Sure enough....

"The sanctity-of-life doctrine has an impressively absolute ring to it. In practice, however, it has proved quite flexible. Take the case of a baby who is born missing most or all of its brain. This condition, known as anencephaly, occurs in about 1 in every 2,000 births. An anencephalic baby, while biologically human, will never develop a rudimentary consciousness, let alone an ability to relate to others or a sense of the future. Yet according to the sanctity-of-life doctrine, those deficiencies do not affect its moral status and hence its right to life. Anencephalic babies could be kept alive for years, given the necessary life support. Yet treatment is typically withheld from them on the grounds that it amounts to ''extraordinary means'' -- even though a baby with a normal brain in need of similar treatment would not be so deprived. Thus they are allowed to die."

(It gets worse....Holt turns up the "moralistic heat"..)

"The distinction between killing a baby and letting it die may be convenient. But is there any moral difference? Failing to save someone's life out of ignorance or laziness or cowardice is one thing. But when available lifesaving treatment is deliberately withheld from a baby, the intention is to cause that baby's death. And the result is just as sure -- if possibly more protracted and painful -- as it would have been through lethal injection."

Now for the "Schiavo Sinker"...

....If the newborn's prognosis is hopeless and the pain both severe and unrelievable, it observes, the parents and physicians ''may concur that death would be more humane than continued life.'' The protocol aims to safeguard against ''unjustified'' euthanasia by offering a checklist of requirements, including informed consent of both parents, certain diagnosis, confirmation by at least one independent doctor and so on.

The debate over infant euthanasia is usually framed as a collision between two values: sanctity of life and quality of life. Judgments about the latter, of course, are notoriously subjective and can lead you down a slippery slope. But shifting the emphasis to suffering changes the terms of the debate. To keep alive an infant whose short life expectancy will be dominated by pain -- pain that it can neither bear nor comprehend -- is, it might be argued, to do that infant a continuous injury."

Again, to use the state sanctioned murder of Terri Schiavo, it was not the sanctity of life that won, but the supposed "quality of her life", that determined her fate in the Court.

Does anyone of the Right have any doubt of the importance of upcoming SCOTUS nominations. I don't.


Popular posts from this blog

Calling Mr. Fitzgerald?


As I told you about in this post yesterday as a source confirmed to me that the Justice Department has launched a probe into the NSA leak. Mr. Risen, you are in trouble - prepare your defense. I told you so.

The White House will be announcing the probe at about 12:30pm. My source tells me that this probe will most likely result in another prosecutor being assigned as of course Fitzgerald is still busy/dizzy on the Plame/Game No-Leak. Additionally, other probes into other recent leaks such as the CIA 'prisons'leak is in the works as well. As I said, this is the NEW Bush - on the attack - it's no more Mr. Nice Guy!

About time! Also covering Michelle Malkin

*****End Update*********

UPDATE II: Looks like I owe my source big time as yet another tip comes true as the Washington Post is on the target list as well for the CIA Prison leak.

****End Update II*************************************

Update III: Via Fox: "The government has no legal right to…

Able Danger - Sign Up - Get the Truth

Per the Able Danger Blog (newly added link), get over to this petition and sign ur name. Again, if there is any chance of true bi-partisan hearings, the people are going to have to speak up and loud.

Just do it!

Sniper Attack Las Vegas Music Festival

Police are hunting for the female companion of a lone gunman who killed at least 20 people, including two off-duty police officers, and injured more than 100 injured in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
Officers believe Marilou Danley, who they described as a middle-aged Asian woman, has more information on the man who attacked the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday night before being killed.
That man was named by 9 News as Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old man from Mesquite, Nevada, who was known to local law enforcement.
Police were reported to be searching his house in the early hours of Monday morning, though there was no indication of a motive.
The Strip was completely shut down after the man, described by police as 'a local' opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort and casino.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Face…