Sunday, March 11, 2012

Babies are not Persons and can be Aborted



Philosophers -metaphysicians- are often known for fostering strange ideas.  They question and question and question so much that they lose touch with reality and create fantasies with their thought experiments that are not applicable to the here and now.

Well ethicists are not far away.  Francesca Minera, a Philosopher and Ethicist at Oxford recently wrote a journal claiming that newborns can be killed.  Yes, you read it correctly...

According to her, a baby can be killed if a mother cannot care for it, is disabled physically or mentally - the baby is not a "person."  This lady needs to be in a strait jacket.  She is delusional and out of touch with reality and science.

A person is a physical person from conception to natural death. No one has the right to dictate who is a person.  Personhood is already included in conception.  The only difference is the stage of development the person is in.

In my post ProChoice Debunked, I touched on this issue.   I wrote:


"5) The Unborn are not persons.

Bullies often attack smaller persons than themselves. They mock them, tease them, treat them as insignificant. Well the same is pretty much done by prochoice advocates. They claim that the fetus is not a person because he/she cannot "feel, think, or are sentient." Some go as far as to merely cite laws to claim their position is correct. However, let's study the issue. 

What does it mean to be sentient? It means: "responsive to or conscious of sense impressions <sentient beings> awareness> (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sentient?show=0&t=1314499397.) So to be sentient, that means we have to be aware, or conscious. We have to be able to feel and perceive. 

The real question that needs to be asked is: is sentience a prerequisite for a human being to be "human?" The answer is no. Human beings as highlighted in the previous answers do not appear fully developed. Each human person goes through a series of changes and growths. This starts from conception and ends at death. If death was non existent, then we would age and age and age. This is the normal stage of life. 

Whether or not a fetus is aware or sentient is inconclusive at the point. However, we do know that brain waves have been recorded as early as 5/6 weeks. (http://www.ehd.org/resources_bpd_illustrated.php?page=8) These brain waves demonstrate that this organism is not a "blob of cells," but rather, it is an organism of a particular species in gestational development. They show that there is brain activity. The fetus is alive! If uninterrupted, it will be born and will continue this development as it grows and changes. To say a fetus or younger is not a person because it is not sentient is erroneous and a conclusion based on lack of evidence. 

First, we do not have enough science to say this. Until we can decipher the brain waves detected in fetus's, we cannot assume they are not aware, are not thinking, and cannot feel. Second, human life is a process of development. We are not born with everything. Even an infant is not totally sentient. The phenomenon of Object Permanence shows this. Object Permanence is "a child's ability to know that objects continue to exist even though they can no longer be seen or heard." -http://psychology.about.com/od/oindex/g/object-permanence.htm 

When an infant is shown something in front of his/her face, he/she will respond as if he/she is seeing it or hearing it. However, when the sound is gone or the object is placed behind the infant or even on the side, he/she will think it disappeared from existence. An infant is not aware of the 3D environment he/she is living in. His/her perception is limited, that is to say, his/her sentience is limited. 

Now this begs the question: are infants human? According to prochoice logic, the answer is no. Infants are not fully aware or sentient, so they are not human. If anything, prochoice might claim they are "half human." This logic is fallacious. Sentience, awareness, and/or feeling are not requirements for human traits. Some infants, toddlers, children and adults have Congenital insensitivity to pain, or CIPA. In this disorder, those affected cannot feel pain or have sensation. They can touch scolding hot water and not feel it despite their skin boiling off. 

Now, by prochoice's logic, these people are not human either because they cannot feel or have sensation. Furthermore, some mentally challenged individuals are not fully aware and need help with even the most basic needs. Are they not human because of this? In reality all the above are human. Human life is a process. It begins at conception. A zygote, embryo, fetus and infant all have the same DNA - if not killed in abortion of course. When you and I were zygotes, embryos, etc, we just were at a different stage of development. We were not of a different species when we were in the womb. To claim a preborn human is not human or a person is absurd, just like thinking an infant is not a person because it is not fully aware.

A human is a person despite of what stage of development he/she is in or what state of health it is in. Laws cannot define personhood. In the USA, laws considered African Americans 3/5 human. Imagine that! Black people were only 3/5 persons/human beings, and people back then were pro and against this idea just like people are pro "preborn are persons" and against "preborn are persons" today. History seems to really do repeat itself. But just like this idea of blacks being 3/5 dissolved with protests, education and an end to the attitude of prejudice, so too will this discrimination towards the preborn end.  "


This lady and any contributors to this infanticide rhetoric must be fired.  I value academia greatly, but this professor has lost my respect as an academic.  She is pushing Leftist rhetoric, not academia.



Source:
http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/02/22/medethics-2011-100411.full?sid=3722e1a3-a440-4c6d-8a75-f8af41eebe19#ref-3

http://jme.bmj.com/

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/ethicists-argue-for-post-birth-abortions/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2108433/Doctors-right-kill-unwanted-disabled-babies-birth-real-person-claims-Oxford-academic.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

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