Ethicists: Killing Babies Should Be Legal
Authors get death threats for controversial opinion
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2012 2:43 PM CST
Babies aren't really people yet, a group of bioethicists argues.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Two Oxford bioethicists are taking heat for their assertion that there is nothing morally wrong with infanticide—or, as they call it, "after-birth abortion." In an article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva argue that babies, like fetuses, are only "potential persons" with no "moral right to life." They believe persons must be "capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value."

Parents, they conclude, should be able to kill infants because "the interests of actual people override the interest of merely potential people." Giubilini and Minerva have received death threats, Journal editor Julian Savulescu revealed yesterday, in a post defending his decision to publish the article. "The goal of the Journal … is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view," he writes. Savulescu knows Giubilini and Minerva through Oxford, the Telegraph reports, and he says they are being targeted by a witch hunt.