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‘Bioethicists’ obsessed with killing babies—why?


Published: 9 October 2018 (GMT+10)

Shockingly, many ‘bioethicists’ advocate the killing of unwanted babies or babies with birth defects after they are born. A recent news report highlighted the most absurd justification for infanticide yet. According to Finnish bioethicist Joona Räsänen, “[T]here might be an argument that gives, for example, the genetic parents a right to kill (or leave to die) their newborn infant even if the infant has a right to life. For example, it might be argued that people have a right to their genetic privacy and having the newborn infant in the world that carries the genetic material of the genetic parents violates their right to genetic privacy. Put another way: the fetus does not have a right to the genetic material of her parents.”1

How would you answer this? Happily, there are simple and valid arguments against this ridiculous point of view. Clearly, all parents have a responsibility to the new individual they’ve had a hand in bringing into the world, but there are many more things one could say. For instance, the child’s DNA is not the parents’ genetic material any longer; it belongs to the baby. Also, the child’s genetic material is a unique combination of the father’s and mother’s genetic material, so it cannot belong to either of the parents.

However, there are also times that call for strong wording. This is one of them. It would not be out of place to point at them and say, “Those people are evil. They apparently haven’t ever seen a baby they didn’t want to kill, whether in the womb or newborn. We should not want these people telling us what constitutes ethical behavior, because apparently being trained in bioethics involves removing humanity and compassion from a person, leaving nothing but a lifeless shell that then goes on to spout rhetoric that Joseph Mengele would be proud of.”

And it’s not like one weird bioethicist made a shocking statement after taking the wrong meds —this is a worrying pattern of argumentation. Another well-known ‘bioethicist’, Peter Singer, has argued for the infanticide of unwanted or disabled newborns. And a few years ago yet another ‘bioethicist’ argued for “after birth abortion”. When three experts in the field argue the same point a clear pattern emerges.

If you’re shocked by the thought of killing newborn children, that’s thanks to Christianity. In the Roman Empire, it was common to expose unwanted children, and abortifacient potions were common. Early Christianity spoke out against both abortion and infanticide, and Christians lived out their beliefs very practically, rescuing exposed infants even when it was illegal. Thus, Christianity was pro-life from the very beginning. When comparing world religions, especially historically, the idea that even the youngest, most vulnerable humans were valuable because they were created in God’s image was almost unique to Christianity.

By way of contrast, one of the most common atheistic ‘ethical’ systems is utilitarianism. Both Richard Dawkins and Singer are utilitarians. Utilitarianism is basically the idea that a ‘moral’ action is that which increases happiness and/or minimizes suffering for the greatest amount of people. That sounds good at first glance, until you read the twisted conclusions that directly follow. Dawkins has claimed that it would be more moral to abort a baby with Down Syndrome and try again. Singer has hypothesized that an adult pig would have more moral value than a newborn human.2 Philosophical ideas are not without implications, and some of the implications from the philosophizing of various bioethicists are horrible.

Is it surprising that, as the West discards more and more of its Christian foundation, we are also losing some of the most fundamental assumptions that came with that foundation? But Christians can fight back against the madness. First, we must learn to articulate clearly and persuasively why every human life has value, from conception to natural death. Second, we should act out that belief in practical ways—whether that means involvement in the pro-life movement, fostering or adopting so-called ‘unwanted’ children, or any of the many other possible ways. Finally, we should all be active in sharing the Gospel, because no amount of human effort will turn the tide. Changing hearts and minds is something only God can accomplish.

References and notes

  1. Fiano-Chesse, C., Outrageous: Bioethicist says parents may have a ‘right’ to kill born children, liveaction.org, 4 September 2018. Return to text.
  2. Hentoff, N, A professor who argues for infanticide, washingtonpost.com, 11 September 1999. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Is Human Life Special?
by Gary Bates and Lita Cosner
US $3.50
Soft Cover
US $10.00

Readers’ comments

David B.
If someone walks on to a stage holding a sign with their name do they have the right to privacy? No. My point is that if you commit an act that naturally violates your own privacy (like having sex and giving away your DNA or holding a sign with your name in public), then you have waived your right to privacy.

If you want to preserve your privacy then don't commit any act that would violate it in its natural course
Harry B.
One might also ask: who exactly decides what constitutes the greatest happiness and least amount of pain for the largest amount of people? What might bring happiness to one large group might not matter remotely to another. So who is right then? And who decides? And do these bioethicists have any idea just how much pain is involved in the death of a baby for those left behind to grieve? And yes, unfortunately I do say that from experience; I lost my youngest nephew some time ago and he was literally just a baby when he died. Bad enough for me as his uncle, I shudder to think how his parents feel. Does anybody see anything "right" there?
Cynthia W.
As the parent of a child (now an adult) with Down syndrome and great-grandparent of a child with a different genetic abnormality, this makes me virtually sick to my stomach! How can anyone say these precious people have not right to their existence? My son lives for his Sunday mornings greeting people at church and has even attended CMI conferences twice and has gone overseas on mission trips twice and traveled to Israel as well.
Ray N.
It’s not like we didn’t see this coming. First was legalising early term abortions. Then that gets stretched out to late term abortions. Soon they’ll want to kill newborns. Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s not “after birth abortion”, it’s murder. Before you know it, child sacrifice is no longer illegal.
Dianne D.
I'm saying this from the depth of a sincere heart: 'God help us!'.
Derek C.
Our God is at work in the whole world bringing reconciliation. Jesus reveals the eternal heart of the Father, He would rather die for His enemies than destroy them. The world is full of the symptoms of a people who are working at cross purposes with God. But are they rejecting a judgmental vindictive god that we project? It is the principalities and powers that Christ defeated, so that we can be set free, lead others into the same freedom and relationship with their Heavenly Father. The early Christians did indeed preach the gospel through the way they lived and cared for all others. If the gospel is as powerful as Paul taught, then it truly can reach into the darkest places and bring deliverance. Let us pray that every hardened heart will be softened by the revelation of what the Father has done in Jesus. These things are evil but God conquers evil for breakfast and puts His love on display through His church, love your enemies!
James K.
"Both Richard Dawkins and Singer are utilitarians. Utilitarianism is basically the idea that a ‘moral’ action is that which increases happiness and/or minimizes suffering for the greatest amount of people."

It's just as well I am not of that mindset. I am sure I could find a "morally reasonable" justification that Dawkins and Singer are a danger to society and need to be eliminated. That is their argument in a nutshell, and by their logic, there is no standard of any value but the one I choose to believe in. I somehow don't think they would like the same argument when it is likely to cause them harm. If they get to decide their own morality, why can't I? or perhaps the next serial killer? Perhaps Stalin or Hitler were not do bad after all, they were just operating under a different morally acceptable paradigm which was acceptable to them.
Kenneth D.
Our two sons are from different countries, languages , cultures etc . We love them dearly and although they didn’t grow in my wife’s tummy they grew in our hearts. God in His supreme mercy has Saved their souls and we rejoice as we step back and watch God do what only God Can do. We pray for the souls of those who are out of touch with God and are expecting Him to respond as we pray in faith
David G.
Bioethicists need to be challenged on their moral epistemological grounds for their views. If babies can be killed, I don't see any argument for not killing anyone who is inconvienient to anyone else. They continually leap into the epistemological dilemma of pretending a valid connection between an 'is' and an 'ought' in their impersonal material world.
Terry W.
"How would you answer this?"

I would put on my best Tucker Carlson face and ask, "What is wrong with you?" John P. beat me to the long version.
Joe B.
It is the self appointed job of the secular humanist bioethicists to represent the evil satanic ritual of baby killing as they are part of the priestly clan of deception. These are strong words, I know. I generally do not go there but this subject is heavy on my heart and personal for me. Look at the timing of this article in relation to circus in Washington over the last few weeks. That circus was NOT about politics, it was about preserving the abortion industry at any cost. And that industry is nothing but Baal worship - the sacrifice of babies. It is not just coincidental that the ancient Roman Arc (which represented Baal worship) was erected in DC just prior to the confirmation hearings

We live in a fallen world and we need to pray with fervor.

W. Wade S.
Thank you for the “strong wording”, Ms. Cosner. Strong words are indeed called for in this instance. Paul delivered rhetoric with the same characteristic, in describing the same sort of people (Romans 1:18-32). Those who “(do) not like to retain God in their knowledge”, who He therefore gives over to a “debased mind”, from which follows a litany of ills and evil (verses 29 and following). As C. S. Lewis said many years ago, “things are becoming more and more what they are” (paraphrasing). That process is accelerating and intensifying in our time; and where (and when) it will end God alone knows.
Michael B.
An obvious implication of claiming the child has no right to the parent's DNA is this implies that they too have no right to their own DNA and as such can not lay any claim to a right to kill the child.
Of course as we follow the trail of DNA to its origins it will in fact lead us to the One Who does have claim to our DNA (and claim to all things). The Lord God Creator, giver of life.
Justis S.
Wow!!! For years, as a Pastor and public seminar presenter, I have spoken about what I believe will be the last aspect of the moral freefall of society before Jesus comes. And now we are here. The fall of the Roman Empire and other societies before it followed the same path. We are witnessing the coming end of our another society and civilization, ours! The societal acceptance of Infanticide will bring about God’s righteous indignation and judgment upon mankind. Infanticide is just another provocative act on the part of man that demonstrates his intent to put himself in the place of God. This, historically, has always had disastrous results.
Edmond C.
Most of these bioethicists probably consider themselves secular humanist, which seems contradictory. But, secular humanism, which supposedly emphasizes the value of human beings, devalues any human life that they see as unnecessary or incapable of contributing to society. Children are the most vulnerable because they have little ability to fend for themselves, especially newborns. Even so that kind of thinking is not limited to children, the bridge from 'worthless children' to 'worthless races' is very short. There is little difference between this type of reasoning and Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.
Lassi P.
Joona Räsänen's logic also fails in that considering the genes we pass on, the baby by her nature shares part of her parents gene pool. That is, she doesn't take to herself anything that wasn't her to begin with. Baby harms her parents genetic privacy no more than my brains harm my right hand's privacy by knowing what my right hand does, or a busines partner harms her partner's privacy by knowing the basic facts of their co-owned business. In fact, men tend to be shocked if their wife gives birth to a child that doesn't share their genes.

Also in Finland there's no death penalty for a sexual assault or a murder let alone for breaking others privacy. How should this be any different?

That's how I'd answer.
Alexander L.
Man's inhumanity to his fellow man is borne out in this article, and yes I agree with the end statement that only God can change the minds and hearts of the people who are involved in the murder of unborn babies in the womb.
I have shared this article with my group on MEWE social media...…. which is far superior to Face-Book.
John P.
These are the people who Jesus said it would be better for them to have a millstone hung around their necks and be thrown into the sea for harming one of His little ones.They are murderous types who have no ethics at all and the whole field of bioethics needs to be wiped out. They would do Adolf Hitler proud. It is said the only thing learnt from history is that it is not learnt. Hitler modeled his ideas on American eugenecists, We are fast closing in on the last days of the church age.One can only hope for their sake they repent and believe in the Lord before it is too late for them. Even these people can be forgiven as we are all sinners in need of our Lord's forgiveness.Such views as these three have expressed are abhorrent to anyone with a conscience.
When they meet their maker they will learn their errors. As I said this whole satanic and evil field needs to be wiped- studying this sort of rot leaves its adherents as Lita says, "as lifeless shells spouting rhetoric Joseph Mengele would be proud of". So would the devil. This is part of the stuff Peter prophesizes about the last days where men snub God and are given over to foolish doctrines or worse.
Every baby deserves a right to life no matter how disabled. They all have God given talents to use for His glory. Down Syndrome people can be very loving and caring. One chap who passed away only recently in Adelaide- Quentin Kenihan- had brittle bone disease and dwarfism, but was a well known actor and was a nominee for the Adelaide council before he died suddenly. Had these three galahs- Singer, Rasanen and Dawkins-had their say he would never have been born. My brother has an intellectual disability but he has a full life. Those who are disabled have more care, love and understanding than all the bioethicists .

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