Why are we so accepting of infanticide?

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” (Episode 2) SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS

Published on Oct 6, 2012 by

This crucial series is narrated by the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer and former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop. Today, choices are being made that undermine human rights at their most basic level. Practices once considered unthinkable are now acceptable – abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. The destruction of human life, young and old, is being sanctioned on an ever-increasing scale by the medical profession, by the courts, by parents and by silent Christians. The five episodes in this series examine the sanctity of life as a social, moral and spiritual issue which the Christian must not ignore. The conclusion presents the Christian alternative as the only real solution to man’s problems.

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Why is our society so accepting of infanticide? About 40 years ago the door was opened to abortion in the USA and that was the fruit of humanism. Is it much of a surprise that we find our country at the point where it is about to accept infanticide now?

Here is the article that got me thinking about this issue this morning followed by an article by David L. Skeen that agrees with my view on abortion and infanticide.

I’m not easily grossed out or nauseated. Heck, I’m on email lists for a half-dozen softball teams and you can only imagine the strange/filthy/nasty things that guys send to each other.

But I read a story about the death panels in the United Kingdom that left me discombobulated. I can’t even begin to describe how I feel.

Here’s the intro of a disturbing report in the Daily Mail.

Sick children are being discharged from NHS hospitals to die at home or in hospices on controversial ‘death pathways’. Until now, end of life regime the Liverpool Care Pathway was thought to have involved only elderly and terminally-ill adults. But the Mail can reveal the practice of withdrawing food and fluid by tube is being used on young patients as well as severely disabled newborn babies.

And here are some of the horrifying details. Read at your own risk.

One doctor has admitted starving and dehydrating ten babies to death in the neonatal unit of one hospital alone. Writing in a leading medical journal, the physician revealed the process can take an average of ten days during which a  baby becomes ‘smaller and shrunken’. The LCP – on which 130,000 elderly and terminally-ill adult patients die each year – is now the subject of an independent inquiry ordered by ministers. …Earlier this month, an un-named doctor wrote of the agony of watching the protracted deaths of babies. …‘I know, as they cannot, the unique horror of witnessing a child become smaller and shrunken, as the only route out of a life that has become excruciating to the patient or to the parents who love their baby.’ Grim Reaper with Kid…Bernadette Lloyd, a hospice paediatric nurse, has written to the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health to criticise the use of death pathways for children. She said: ‘The parents feel coerced, at a very traumatic time, into agreeing that this is correct for their child whom they are told by doctors has only has a few days to live. It is very difficult to predict death. I have seen a “reasonable” number of children recover after being taken off the pathway. …‘I have also seen children die in terrible thirst because fluids are withdrawn from them until they die. ‘I witnessed a 14 year-old boy with cancer die with his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth when doctors refused to give him liquids by tube. His death was agonising for him, and for us nurses to watch. This is euthanasia by the backdoor.’

My first reaction is to hope that this story is wildly wrong, filled with exaggerations and lies.

My second reaction (and this is why I got so agitated) is to imagine what it must be like for the parents. They get talked into letting their kids die, which must be agonizing, and then (assuming they stick around) they have to watch them slowly starve to death or die of thirst. Wouldn’t it be better to just give your kid a fatal injection? Setting aside the moral issue of deciding to let a kid die because he’s disabled or something like that, doesn’t simple decency mean that death should be painless rather than agonizing?

My final reaction is to wonder what Paul Krugman would say about this scandalous neglect and mistreatment. During the Obamacare debate, he told us we could ignore stories about what was happening across the ocean, writing that “In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false.” So I guess starving children don’t qualify as a scare story.

P.S. If you want more horror stories about government-run healthcare in the United Kingdom click here, here, here, here, herehereherehereherehereherehere, here and here.

Abortion and infanticide

This article from the UK Telegraph from late February summarizes (and links to) an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics which argues that “newborn babies are not ‘actual persons’ and do not have a ‘moral right to life’. The academics [Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva] also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born.”  Giubilini and Minerva “use the phrase ‘after-birth abortion’ rather than ‘infanticide’ to ‘emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus’.”

So less than 40 years after abortion on-demand was legalized in the US, we see an article in an academic journal making the argument that because abortion is morally acceptable, infanticide is also morally acceptable.  For Christians who have opposed abortion for decades, this development is not surprising.

In their 1979 book Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop wrote:

At a population control conference in Washington DC, as reported by editor-writer Norman Podhoretz, one speaker saw “no reason why anyone who accepted abortion should balk at infanticide.”  Another urged certain medical qualifying tests for all newborns.  These would determine their genetic characteristics and, thus, whether their right to life should for forfeited.  Of course, at present only a few hold these ideas, but unfortunately they are presenting these ideas again and again.  Taken a little more seriously each time, they become a little more thinkable each time….

Without the Judeo-Christian base which gives every individual an intrinsic dignity as made in the image of the personal-infinite Creator, each successive horror falls naturally in place.  Combine arbitrary law (in which a small group of people may decide what is good for society at that moment of history) with the Supreme Court ruling on arbitrary abortion and the gates are opened for many kinds of killing under the guise of social good.

In his 1980 book The Right to Live, The Right to Die, Koop wrote:

It is, further, absolutely astounding to me that Justice Blackmun could have included the following sentence in his decision: “We need not resolve the question of when life begins.”  Where does this lead?  It leads to infanticide and eventually to euthanasia.  If the law will not protect the life of a normal, unborn child, what chance does a newborn infant have after birth, if in the eyes of Justice Blackmun, he might be less than normal?…

Koop quoted James Watson, who wrote in an American Medical Association publication (in 1973): “If a child were not declared alive until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice only a few are given in the present system.”  Koop also quoted Francis Crick (in a 1978 interview): “No newborn infant should be declared human until it has passed certain tests regarding its genetic endowment and that if it fails these tests, it forfeits the right to live.”  So we can see scientific voices (Watson and Crick were Nobel laureates) arguing for infanticide decades ago.

In the US, we have seen our laws become increasingly arbitrary. In some states, euthanasia has been legalized. The Obama administration has given federal funding to embryonic stem cell research, where embryos are destroyed in the hope of finding medical cures.  Perhaps a state will legalize infanticide, probably in limited circumstances at first.  If this occurs, and the statute is challenged in the courts, how would the Supreme Court would rule on it?  In all likelihood, the Court would make another arbitrary ruling.

Our nation has drifted further and further from a fundamental commitment to a God-given right to life, which we had recognized in our Declaration of Independence.  If we continue on this path, we can anticipate successive horrors falling naturally in place.

Related posts:

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” (Episode 2) SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” (Episode 2) SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis This crucial series is narrated by the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer and former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop. Today, choices are being made that undermine human rights at their most basic level. Practices [...]

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE

It is not possible to know where the pro-life evangelicals are coming from unless you look at the work of the person who inspired them the most. That person was Francis Schaeffer.  I do care about economic issues but the pro-life issue is the most important to me. Several years ago Adrian Rogers (past president of [...]

 

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