January 26, 2004

Government Endorsing Post-Natal Infanticide

Why do we need rid of this Government? Tuition fees? No. General untruthfulness? No. It is because they are advised by people like this.

A Government adviser on genetics has suggested that it may be acceptable to destroy babies with “defects” soon after birth.

As reported in The Times:

John Harris, a member of the Human Genetics Commission, told a parliamentary meeting last week that he did not see any moral difference in aborting a fully grown unborn baby at 40 weeks and committing infanticide.

Harris, professor of bioethics at Manchester University, declined to say what defects might justify terminating the baby’s life, or the maximum permissible age for such a course of action.

But yesterday he was reported to have said that he did not think infanticide was always unjustifiable. He did not believe there was any “moral change” that occurred during the journey down the birth canal.

Harris, who also advises Britain’s doctors as a member of the British Medical Association’s ethics committee, is said to have argued that there was no moral difference between terminating a foetus found by tests to have defects and one where the parents only discovered the abnormalities at birth.

Harris was speaking at the the launch of a public consultation on whether laws governing test-tube baby clinics should be tightened in the light of new technology. It was chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy, who also chairs the Human Genetics Commission.

Ian Gibson, MP, chairman of the science and technology committee, said: “The debate was principally about designer babies and sex selection. Harris said everything in this area must be open for consideration and infanticide could not be ruled out.”

In the past Harris has spoken of the need to allow people to buy and sell human organs as a means of increasing the supply for transplant operations. He also recently expressed support for sex selection for social reasons among babies. “If it isn’t wrong to wish for a bonny, bouncing baby girl, why would it be wrong to make use of technology to play fairy godmother?” he said.

The spokesperson of the Pro-Life lobby group, Julia Millington, who attended the debate, said: “It is frightening to think that university students are being educated by somebody who endorses the killing of newborn babies, and equally worrying to discover that such a person is the Establishment’s ‘preferred’ bioethicist.”

Harris is correct that there is no difference in aborting a fully grown unborn baby at 40 weeks and committing post-natal infanticide. It's just that he has no problem with either one.

Posted by david at January 26, 2004 10:32 PM | TrackBack

That man makes me feel nauseous every time I hear him or read him. Actually I haven't read him for years before tonight but the recollection is vivid.

Posted by: Havdala at January 27, 2004 10:32 PM

You and I would have used the "Harris Theory" as an argument against abortion!

With each generation life has become more disposable and the scary thing is that it's all happening with the help of science, modern technology, and university scholars ...

Posted by: Rix at January 29, 2004 10:52 AM