Infanticide and madness

Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (5):299-301 (2013)
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I am, of course, aware that infanticide was accepted and practiced in ancient Greece and Rome, and is still practiced in places like India and China today; just as I am aware that slavery was accepted and practiced in ancient Greece and Rome , and is still practiced in some places today. But if philosophers, no matter how sophisticated, were to step forward today to argue that slavery is morally acceptable , I would call that madness.Of course, the ‘madness’ I am referring to in condemning the advocacy of infanticide and slavery or their moral permissibility is moral madness. I am not making a clinical diagnosis of a psychiatric condition. I take it that this was obvious, but that Charles Camosy is nevertheless troubled that I would say such a thing. But I do say it. And at the risk of giving offense, I will say it again: advocating the moral permissibility of killing healthy newborn infants is moral madness; and it is scandalous, especially in a journal expressly directed not merely to philosophers but to physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals—people whose attitudes shape decisions they make about the lives of real people, including real infants.Whatever errors of fact and judgment are made possible by the complexities of human development or a prenatal …



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Robert George
Durham University

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Lord Samuel's Speech at Lord Halsbury's Reception.[author unknown] - 1959 - Philosophy 34 (131):377-381.

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