Monday, December 08, 2014

Infanticide for the Disabled Pushed by Bioethicist

Udu Schuklenk, Professor of Philosophy and Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics at Queen’s University, who headed the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on End-of-Life Decision Making, is advocating what he calls "postnatal abortion" for imperfect babies not wanted by his/her parent(s).
“Once we have concluded that death is what is in the best interest of the infant, it is unreasonable not to bring about this death as painlessly and as much controlled in terms of timing by the parents as is feasible.”
For background, read how American attitudes regarding "defective human beings" are trending toward that of Belgium where doctors kill months-old infants who are deemed deficient.

-- From "End-of-life debate turns to newborns: ‘Postnatal abortion’ morally acceptable in some cases, ethicist says" by Tom Blackwell, National Post 12/7/14

[Prof. Schuklenk] wrote the opinion piece after being invited to debate the newborn issue at a conference of the American Association of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery in Toronto earlier this year.

Euthanasia would even be preferable to “terminal sedation,” where food and liquids are removed from a dying patient, because it would save parents and medical staff the distress of seeing a baby waste away over days or weeks, said Prof. Schuklenk.

The Netherlands does permit euthanasia of some newborns. . . .

[Schuklenk] rejected the notion that allowing euthanasia in such cases would lead to a slippery slope where the idea is applied increasingly broadly. . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Should severely disabled infants be euthanased?" by Michael Cook, BioEdge 12/6/14

After dismissing arguments drawn from human dignity, sanctity-of-life, and the principle of double effect, Schuklenk still has to explain why a suffering infant could not be simply sedated so that it would not suffer, thus avoiding the need for euthanasia. The answer he says, is that parents and doctors and nurses would suffer unnecessarily.
The unnecessarily prolonged dying of their infant son would extend a severely distressing situation for the parents. They would have to witness the deterioration of their infant son over a period of days, possibly weeks. Some of the attending health care professionals would undoubtedly also find it psychologically difficult to watch the child die foreseeably an unnecessarily slow death. …. Given that a terminally sedated infant would have no surviving interests to speak of, the interests of these other parties matter. If his prolonged dying is harmful to them, a further quality-of-life based argument in favor of terminating the infant's life is established.
To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "The 'Quality of Life' Slouch Toward Infanticide" by Wesley J. Smith, National Review Online 5/15/14

[Udu Schuklenk writes in his] “What We Should Do About Severely Impaired Newborns?”
If we merely go by the newborn’s quality of life and life prospects it seems indeed best to end the unfolding tragedy sooner rather than later, but probably a decision should be arrived at with parental consent as opposed to against the unfortunate parents. It turns out that one can reasonably answer the rhetorical question of whether one would want to live in a society that terminated the lives of certain severely impaired newborns if one held the view – as I do – that the newborn’s current and future quality of life is all that matters here. I could live in such a society where empathy for human suffering trumps religious conviction.
Don’t be fooled by the “parental consent” nonsense. First, parents shouldn’t have the power to have their babies killed. Beyond that, if we owe a duty to the baby to kill him, then parental rights become irrelevant and it’s veto time. Relevantly, back in the late 1990s, The Lancet reported that 27% of infanticides in the Netherlands–all based on a supposedly “unlivable life” occurs without parental consent.

If the parents’ reason for wanting to love their baby as long as he lives can be viewed as religious–strongly hinted by Schuklenk as the only reason anyone could oppose, it’s really veto time!

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.