Spiritual Life
Reasons to Believe
Religions & Sects
Church History
In the News
Faith & Reason Press Speaker's Forum Links Resources About Us


Comments by Brian Morley:


        According to two ethicists writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics, killing a newborn should be allowed in all cases in which abortion is allowed, including in cases where the newborn is not disabled and would lead a normal life. Newborns are not persons, they contend, but they can develop into persons. And only persons have a right to life.

        The authors are not on the lunatic fringe of society. One is a professor at the University of Milan and is a scholar at the Centre for Human Bioethics at Monash University, Australia. The other is at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics and the University of Melbourne, and is at the Oxford Uehir Centre for Practical Ethics at Oxford University.

        Here’s some of the reasoning:

Although fetuses and newborns are not persons, they are potential persons because they can develop, thanks to their own biological mechanisms, those properties which will make them ‘persons’ in the sense of ‘subjects of a moral right to life’: that is, the point at which they will be able to make aims and appreciate their own life.


It is not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense.

Account of the article:



Source article in Journal of Medical Ethics: