Oxford University: Murdering Newborn Babies Should Be Legal

Fact checked
Oxford University say murdering newborn babies is no worse than abortion

Oxford University claims that parents should be allowed to kill newborn babies because their lives are “morally irrelevant” and killing them is no different to an abortion.

According to a group of medical ethicists at the prestigious University, newborn babies are not “actual persons” and they have “no moral right to life.”

Telegraph.co.uk reports: The journal’s editor, Prof Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, said the article’s authors had received death threats since publishing the article. He said those who made abusive and threatening posts about the study were “fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society”.

The article, entitled “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?”, was written by two of Prof Savulescu’s former associates, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva.

They argued: “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”

Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’.

“We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.”

As such they argued it was “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense”.

The authors therefore concluded that “what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled”.

They also argued that parents should be able to have the baby killed if it turned out to be disabled without their knowing before birth, for example citing that “only the 64 per cent of Down’s syndrome cases” in Europe are diagnosed by prenatal testing.

Once such children were born there was “no choice for the parents but to keep the child”, they wrote.

“To bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.”

However, they did not argue that some baby killings were more justifiable than others – their fundamental point was that, morally, there was no difference to abortion as already practised.

They preferred to use the phrase “after-birth abortion” rather than “infanticide” to “emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus”.

Both Minerva and Giubilini know Prof Savulescu through Oxford. Minerva was a research associate at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics until last June, when she moved to the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at Melbourne University.

Giubilini, a former visiting student at Cambridge University, gave a talk in January at the Oxford Martin School – where Prof Savulescu is also a director – titled ‘What is the problem with euthanasia?’

He too has gone on to Melbourne, although to the city’s Monash University. Prof Savulescu worked at both univerisities before moving to Oxford in 2002.

Defending the decision to publish in a British Medical Journal blog, Prof Savulescu, said that arguments in favour of killing newborns were “largely not new”.

What Minerva and Giubilini did was apply these arguments “in consideration of maternal and family interests”.

While accepting that many people would disagree with their arguments, he wrote: “The goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view. It is to present well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises.”

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he added: “This “debate” has been an example of “witch ethics” – a group of people know who the witch is and seek to burn her. It is one of the most dangerous human tendencies we have. It leads to lynching and genocide. Rather than argue and engage, there is a drive is to silence and, in the extreme, kill, based on their own moral certainty. That is not the sort of society we should live in.”

He said the journal would consider publishing an article positing that, if there was no moral difference between abortion and killing newborns, then abortion too should be illegal.

Dr Trevor Stammers, director of medical ethics at St Mary’s University College, said: “If a mother does smother her child with a blanket, we say ‘it’s doesn’t matter, she can get another one,’ is that what we want to happen?

“What these young colleagues are spelling out is what we would be the inevitable end point of a road that ethical philosophers in the States and Australia have all been treading for a long time and there is certainly nothing new.”

Referring to the term “after-birth abortion”, Dr Stammers added: “This is just verbal manipulation that is not philosophy. I might refer to abortion henceforth as antenatal infanticide.”


  1. The people that ask these questions should prove why they have a right to live and how they get to choose for another life. This is pure insanity. Then they call it the “Center for Practical Ethics.” It should be called the “Center for Irrational Ideology.”

  2. Those who dare to minimize the value of babies, should be offered the opportunity to die.
    Leave babies be!!!!

  3. The original Telegraph article referred in this necro-article, is 5 years old.
    A little slow on the ball, no?

    For those interested, the academic article argues the position of abortion after birth, considering that the birth itself might seriously harm the baby, or reveal severe birth defects that would have resulted in an abortion, had they been discovered early.

  4. The article arranges the quotes to try and make it worse than it is. For example, in the conclusion the article states the following… “First, we do not put forward any claim about the moment at which after-birth abortion would no longer be permissible, and we do not think that in fact more than a few days would be necessary for doctors to detect any abnormality in the child. In cases where the after-birth abortion were requested for non-medical reasons, we do not suggest any threshold, as it depends on the neurological development of newborns, which is something neurologists and psychologists would be able to assess.

    Second, we do not claim that after-birth abortions are good alternatives to abortion. Abortions at an early stage are the best option, for both psychological and physical reasons. However, if a disease has not been detected during the pregnancy, if something went wrong during the delivery, or if economical, social or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford.”

  5. The original source article is talking about how there should be an option to abort a baby if it’s apparent that it has severe illnesses that will make life an unending time of suffering. I agree.

    • Well, in that case according to your comment, I feel that YOU have no place or serve any purpose in society, so how about you end your life Kendrickdk…..or if you can’t commit suicide, I can help end your life. The way I see it, you are severely mentally ill and therefore you have NO right to live, therefore you should have had your life ended. I’m sure that your parents saw (when you were first born) that you had this mental disease (which was apparent by your constant violent shaking) and they probably realized that your birth was going to be a huge financial and economically burden on them, but still, they foolishly chose to let you live. And now the final result is this: Anyone can see that you clearly have a serious psychological/mental illness; but you’re still alive… Go figure….

      • I get it, you and the others are control freaks. You feel it necessary to control and make others submit to your value system… a system lacking tolerance, empathy and critical thinking. Did you bother to read the original article that is the basis for discussion? I took the time and read it. The authors make some good points. Instead you attack me with feeble words and ideas that only make sense to those who also share your personal values. One of the aspects you ignore is suffering. How selfish of you to ignore the suffering of the child and the family of the child who are involved in these situations. You wouldn’t let an animal suffer for no reason so why should we allow people to suffer except to make yourselves feel better based on some moral bubble that only applies to a certain group of people.

        As for you trying to judge my person and say I have mental illness issues… that’s also none of your business. I pretty sure I’m many degrees more intelligent and caring than you will ever be or could be. So go ahead and run me down even though you know nothing really but just want to bash someone that has a different opinion.

  6. Why are supposedly intelligent humans debating playing god with other human life?? Fuck liberals and their pathetic pseudo intellectual logic.

  7. well it’s all how you look at the people who suggested that it was OK to kill a baby after it was born , maybe we should look at them as having a mental problem , so looking at it that way with that information ,then it should be OK for us to put these people out of their misery . If we believe we can kill whoever is not contributing to society ,them not functioning at full capability , then there is a huge danger of society Wiping out huge amount of humans , let’s try putting compassion back into our educational system , instead of this out rages behavior by humans .

  8. In our modern world it’s the Godless vs the Godly…..narcissism and hedonism have resulted in the lowest birthrate ever in the West. Muslims will soon replace these European pagans. No violence needed, all the Muslims have to do is move in and have children.

    • Using those liberal Logic, yes I agree with you, Liberals are morally irrelevant and maybe we should pass a law to murder them.

  9. In a sane society Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva would be institutionalized as certifiably insane and a danger to society if they acted out their psychotic opinion. Their argument dramatizes the natural and logical consequences of radical left-wing liberal moral relativism and its deranged perspective that every opinion is of equal value including the delusional opinions of the insane. Killing an infant is murder whether Giubilini and Minerva agree or not just as killing Giubilini and Minerva is murder whether the killer thinks they deserve to live or not.

  10. These Godless soulless ghouls are not hiding any longer, their agenda and it`s ever evolving dissent into depravity is only going to become worse, They have no Basis of Morality/Principles built upon an unchanging bedrock , there is no baseline of decency, moral relativism, secularism, humanism, pluralism, all equal destruction

  11. a people and society who hold to these views are ripe for God judgement. I expect that given Britians longstanding hatred for Israel, their hatred for God’s babies and their turning their society away from Jesus Christ , I expect the UKs days are seriously numbered. And perhaps all of these things are allowing Islam to take over more and more ground every month. They as a nation have turned away from the Lord.

  12. REALLY EVIL people do exist folks. I mean, DELIBERATELY evil people who understand full well what their mission is. It is NOT unreasonable at all to expect that these very evil people would methodically position themselves in places to influence thought and culture, and placing themselves in a “prestigious” academic setting…well… they assume some folks don’t have the confidence in their own intellect to challenge them and will just march in step. THESE OXFORD PROFESSORS ARE CRETINS straight from the pit of Hell. Disgusting, vile, morally and emotionally depraved SICKOS, THAT is what they are. Disgusting pukes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.