Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


Just to be sure you know, although it is often used as an expletive of triumph or praise, "hosanna" is actually a plea to be saved. (And I'm not using this as an attack on Obamacare, I think universal healthcare should be the law of the land.)
Lord, save us!
In a radio interview Sunday, Princeton University ethics professor Peter Singer argued it is “reasonable” for government or private insurance companies to deny treatment to severely disabled babies.
Singer contended the health-care system under Obamacare should be more overt about rationing and that the country should acknowledge the necessity of “intentionally ending the lives of severely disabled infants.”
..... In [a previously published treatise], Singer argued for the morality of “non-voluntary euthanasia” for human beings not capable of understanding the choice between life and death, including “severely disabled infants, and people who through accident, illness, or old age have permanently lost the capacity to understand the issue involved.”
For Singer, the wrongness of killing a human being is not based on the fact that the individual is alive and human. Instead, Singer argued it is “characteristics like rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness that make a difference.”
Asked whether he envisions denying treatment to disabled infants to become more common in the U.S. under the new health-care law, Singer replied: “It does happen. Not necessarily because of costs."
[The interviewer asked if] the killing of severely disabled infants should be institutionalized to reduce health-care costs... “I know that it happens and it happens certainly if the family gives consent. But do you think in the future in order to ensure a more fair rationing of health-care and health-care costs, that it should actually be instituted more? The killing of severely disabled babies?”
Singer responded such a plan would be “quite reasonable” if it saved money that can be used for better purposes. He contended that most people would say they don’t want their premiums to be higher “so that infants who can experience zero quality of life can have expensive treatments.”

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