Induced Delivery of Anencephalic Fetuses: A Response to James L. Walsh and Moira M. McQueen
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. 1994 Mar; 4(1): 47-54.
James Walsh and Moira McQueen accurately conclude that the eary delivery of anencephalic fetuses is morally acceptable, but the reasoning they use to reach that conclusion is flawed. First, the principle of double effect does not require a weighing of good and evil, but rather seeks a sufficient reason for the evil indirectly intended. Second, the principle of double effect requires a clear distinction between physical and moral causality. Third, the Catholic moral tradition will not admit direct and intended killing of the innocent. Rather, early delivery of anencephalic fetuses is permissible because they have neither the ability to perform human acts nor the potential to do so in the future; they will never be able to love God, neighbor, or self.
Abortion; Allowing to Die; Anencephaly; Brain; Brain Pathology; Double Effect; Ethics; Fetuses; Health; Human Characteristics; Intention; Killing; Life; Love; Maternal Health; Moral Policy; Newborns; Personhood; Pregnant Women; Prognosis; Prolongation of Life; Roman Catholic Ethics; Selective Abortion; Theology; Therapeutic Abortion; Viability;