Medical Ethics

TAMUCC Medical Ethics Don Berkich
Philosophy Engelhardt's Argument Notes

  1 If X is a person then X is morally responsible.  
  2 No child is morally responsible.  
3 No child is a person. 1&2
  4 If no child is a person then infanticide is sometimes morally permissible.  
5 Infanticide is sometimes morally permissible. 3&4

When is (active) infanticide morally permissible?

1. Infanticide is morally permissible when there is little chance for a full human life and a great likelihood of suffering.

2. Infanticide is morally permissible when there is great cost to prolonging life.

Who should decide when to euthanize?

Since the child is socially considered a person only in virtue of being a member of a family, it follows that the parents have the right to determine when it is appropriate to euthanize their children.