The Independent (UK) reported yesterday on new calls for the euthanasia of disabled newborns.
Doctors are urging health regulators to consider allowing the "active euthanasia" of severely disabled newborn babies.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology has put forward the option of permitting mercy killings of the sickest infants to a review of medical ethics.
It says "active euthanasia" should be considered for the overall benefit of families who would otherwise suffer years of emotional and financial suffering.
Deliberate action to end infants' lives may also reduce the number of late abortions, since it would allow women the chance to decide whether their disabled child should live.
Of course, we must do all we can to reduce the number of late abortions, even if that means actively killing babies after they're born. That would sure solve the moral dilemma of late abortions!
These people disgust me. They're following in the lines of the Groningen Protocol in the Netherlands. From the Independent:
Dr Pieter Sauer, co-author of the Groningen Protocol, the guidelines governing infant euthanasia in the Netherlands, said British medics already carry out mercy killings and should be allowed to do so in the open. "English neonatologists gave me the indication that this is happening."
It's one thing to remove life support. It's another thing entirely to kill someone, as a British physician points out:
But the paper quoted John Wyatt, consultant neonatologist at University College Hospital, as saying: "Intentional killing is not part of medical care... once you introduce the possibility of intentional killing you change the fundamental nature of medicine. It becomes a subjective decision of whose life is worthwhile."
Simone Aspis of the British Council of Disabled People said: "Euthanasia for disabled newborns tells society that being born disabled is a bad thing. If we introduced euthanasia for certain conditions, it would tell adults with those conditions that they are worth less than other members of society."
Both Wyatt and Aspis are right. The power this would give and the message it would tell are the wrong ones.
John Harris, a member of the official Human Genetics Commission and professor of bioethics at Manchester University, welcomed the college's submission. "We can terminate for serious foetal abnormality up to term, but cannot kill a newborn," he told The Sunday Times. "What do people think has happened in the passage down the birth canal to make it OK to kill the foetus at one end of the birth canal but not the other?" (emphasis added)
Although Harris is making the case for euthanasia, he could just as easily be making the case against late-term abortion. But that's not the direction "bioethicists" tend to go. They seem to prefer finding "ethical" reasons to kill.
At least there are still a few people in Great Britain who are sane. Let's hope it's their voices that prevail.