mercoledì 29 febbraio 2012

Un dibattito mai nato

Non è certo il primo caso di dibattito fasullo, ovvero un dibattito fatto da commenti da parte di chi non ha letto un pezzo eppure lo demolisce e lo accusa di essere così e così. E poi i commenti (inferociti) proseguono sulla base di quel commento affrettato, a volte sulla base del titolo o delle prime due righe di quel commento.
Se poi l’argomento è scottante come l’aborto, i commenti inferociti assumono anche il volto degli insulti e delle minacce.
Ecco quanto sta accadendo a un articolo pubblicato sul Journal of Medical Ethics: After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?, Alberto Giubilini e Francesca Minerva (è disponibile integralmente). Lo riporto integralmente nella speranza che qualcuno legga la fonte. Un commento interessante si può leggere qui e qui.

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue 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.

Severe abnormalities of the fetus and risks for the physical and/or psychological health of the woman are often cited as valid reasons for abortion. Sometimes the two reasons are connected, such as when a woman claims that a disabled child would represent a risk to her mental health. However, having a child can itself be an unbearable burden for the psychological health of the woman or for her already existing children,1 regardless of the condition of the fetus. This could happen in the case of a woman who loses her partner after she finds out that she is pregnant and therefore feels she will not be able to take care of the possible child by herself.

A serious philosophical problem arises when the same conditions that would have justified abortion become known after birth. In such cases, we need to assess facts in order to decide whether the same arguments that apply to killing a human fetus can also be consistently applied to killing a newborn human.

Such an issue arises, for example, when an abnormality has not been detected during pregnancy or occurs during delivery. Perinatal asphyxia, for instance, may cause severe brain damage and result in severe mental and/or physical impairments comparable with those for which a woman could request an abortion. Moreover, abnormalities are not always, or cannot always be, diagnosed through prenatal screening even if they have a genetic origin. This is more likely to happen when the disease is not hereditary but is the result of genetic mutations occurring in the gametes of a healthy parent. One example is the case of Treacher-Collins syndrome (TCS), a condition that affects 1 in every 10 000 births causing facial deformity and related physiological failures, in particular potentially life-threatening respiratory problems. Usually those affected by TCS are not mentally impaired and they are therefore fully aware of their condition, of being different from other people and of all the problems their pathology entails. Many parents would choose to have an abortion if they find out, through genetic prenatal testing, that their fetus is affected by TCS. However, genetic prenatal tests for TCS are usually taken only if there is a family history of the disease. Sometimes, though, the disease is caused by a gene mutation that intervenes in the gametes of a healthy member of the couple. Moreover, tests for TCS are quite expensive and it takes several weeks to get the result. Considering that it is a very rare pathology, we can understand why women are not usually tested for this disorder.

However, such rare and severe pathologies are not the only ones that are likely to remain undetected until delivery; even more common congenital diseases that women are usually tested for could fail to be detected. An examination of 18 European registries reveals that between 2005 and 2009 only the 64% of Down's syndrome cases were diagnosed through prenatal testing.2 This percentage indicates that, considering only the European areas under examination, about 1700 infants were born with Down's syndrome without parents being aware of it before birth. Once these children are born, there is no choice for the parents but to keep the child, which sometimes is exactly what they would not have done if the disease had been diagnosed before birth.

Abortion and after-birth abortion
Euthanasia in infants has been proposed by philosophers3 for children with severe abnormalities whose lives can be expected to be not worth living and who are experiencing unbearable suffering.

Also medical professionals have recognised the need for guidelines about cases in which death seems to be in the best interest of the child. In The Netherlands, for instance, the Groningen Protocol (2002) allows to actively terminate the life of ‘infants with a hopeless prognosis who experience what parents and medical experts deem to be unbearable suffering’.4

Although it is reasonable to predict that living with a very severe condition is against the best interest of the newborn, it is hard to find definitive arguments to the effect that life with certain pathologies is not worth living, even when those pathologies would constitute acceptable reasons for abortion. It might be maintained that ‘even allowing for the more optimistic assessments of the potential of Down's syndrome children, this potential cannot be said to be equal to that of a normal child’.3 But, in fact, people with Down's syndrome, as well as people affected by many other severe disabilities, are often reported to be happy.5

Nonetheless, 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. On these grounds, the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion. Therefore, we argue that, when circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.

In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk. Accordingly, a second terminological specification is that we call such a practice ‘after-birth abortion’ rather than ‘euthanasia’ because the best interest of the one who dies is not necessarily the primary criterion for the choice, contrary to what happens in the case of euthanasia.

Failing to bring a new person into existence cannot be compared with the wrong caused by procuring the death of an existing person. The reason is that, unlike the case of death of an existing person, failing to bring a new person into existence does not prevent anyone from accomplishing any of her future aims. However, this consideration entails a much stronger idea than the one according to which severely handicapped children should be euthanised. If the death of a newborn is not wrongful to her on the grounds that she cannot have formed any aim that she is prevented from accomplishing, then it should also be permissible to practise an after-birth abortion on a healthy newborn too, given that she has not formed any aim yet.

There are two reasons which, taken together, justify this claim:

The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus, that is, neither can be considered a ‘person’ in a morally relevant sense.

It is not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense.

We are going to justify these two points in the following two sections.

The newborn and the fetus are morally equivalent
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.

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. This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons. Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal.

Our point here is that, although it is hard to exactly determine when a subject starts or ceases to be a ‘person’, a necessary condition for a subject to have a right to X is that she is harmed by a decision to deprive her of X. There are many ways in which an individual can be harmed, and not all of them require that she values or is even aware of what she is deprived of. A person might be ‘harmed’ when someone steals from her the winning lottery ticket even if she will never find out that her ticket was the winning one. Or a person might be ‘harmed’ if something were done to her at the stage of fetus which affects for the worse her quality of life as a person (eg, her mother took drugs during pregnancy), even if she is not aware of it. However, in such cases we are talking about a person who is at least in the condition to value the different situation she would have found herself in if she had not been harmed. And such a condition depends on the level of her mental development,6 which in turn determines whether or not she is a ‘person’.

Those who are only capable of experiencing pain and pleasure (like perhaps fetuses and certainly newborns) have a right not to be inflicted pain. If, in addition to experiencing pain and pleasure, an individual is capable of making any aims (like actual human and non-human persons), she is harmed if she is prevented from accomplishing her aims by being killed. Now, hardly can a newborn be said to have aims, as the future we imagine for it is merely a projection of our minds on its potential lives. It might start having expectations and develop a minimum level of self-awareness at a very early stage, but not in the first days or few weeks after birth. On the other hand, not only aims but also well-developed plans are concepts that certainly apply to those people (parents, siblings, society) who could be negatively or positively affected by the birth of that child. Therefore, the rights and interests of the actual people involved should represent the prevailing consideration in a decision about abortion and after-birth abortion.

It is true that a particular moral status can be attached to a non-person by virtue of the value an actual person (eg, the mother) attributes to it. However, this ‘subjective’ account of the moral status of a newborn does not debunk our previous argument. Let us imagine that a woman is pregnant with two identical twins who are affected by genetic disorders. In order to cure one of the embryos the woman is given the option to use the other twin to develop a therapy. If she agrees, she attributes to the first embryo the status of ‘future child’ and to the other one the status of a mere means to cure the ‘future child’. However, the different moral status does not spring from the fact that the first one is a ‘person’ and the other is not, which would be nonsense, given that they are identical. Rather, the different moral statuses only depends on the particular value the woman projects on them. However, such a projection is exactly what does not occur when a newborn becomes a burden to its family.

The fetus and the newborn are potential persons
Although fetuses and newborns are not persons, they are potential persons because they can develop, thanks to their own biological mechanisms, those properties which will make them ‘persons’ in the sense of ‘subjects of a moral right to life’: that is, the point at which they will be able to make aims and appreciate their own life.

It might be claimed that someone is harmed because she is prevented from becoming a person capable of appreciating her own being alive. Thus, for example, one might say that we would have been harmed if our mothers had chosen to have an abortion while they were pregnant with us7 or if they had killed us as soon as we were born. However, whereas you can benefit someone by bringing her into existence (if her life is worth living), it makes no sense to say that someone is harmed by being prevented from becoming an actual person. The reason is that, by virtue of our definition of the concept of ‘harm’ in the previous section, in order for a harm to occur, it is necessary that someone is in the condition of experiencing that harm.

If a potential person, like a fetus and a newborn, does not become an actual person, like you and us, then there is neither an actual nor a future person who can be harmed, which means that there is no harm at all. So, if you ask one of us if we would have been harmed, had our parents decided to kill us when we were fetuses or newborns, our answer is ‘no’, because they would have harmed someone who does not exist (the ‘us’ whom you are asking the question), which means no one. And if no one is harmed, then no harm occurred.

A consequence of this position is that the interests of actual people over-ride the interest of merely potential people to become actual ones. This does not mean that the interests of actual people always over-ride any right of future generations, as we should certainly consider the well-being of people who will inhabit the planet in the future. Our focus is on the right to become a particular person, and not on the right to have a good life once someone will have started to be a person. In other words, we are talking about particular individuals who might or might not become particular persons depending on our choice, and not about those who will certainly exist in the future but whose identity does not depend on what we choose now.

The alleged right of individuals (such as fetuses and newborns) to develop their potentiality, which someone defends,8 is over-ridden by the interests of actual people (parents, family, society) to pursue their own well-being because, as we have just argued, merely potential people cannot be harmed by not being brought into existence. Actual people's well-being could be threatened by the new (even if healthy) child requiring energy, money and care which the family might happen to be in short supply of. Sometimes this situation can be prevented through an abortion, but in some other cases this is not possible. In these cases, since non-persons have no moral rights to life, there are no reasons for banning after-birth abortions. We might still have moral duties towards future generations in spite of these future people not existing yet. But because we take it for granted that such people will exist (whoever they will be), we must treat them as actual persons of the future. This argument, however, does not apply to this particular newborn or infant, because we are not justified in taking it for granted that she will exist as a person in the future. Whether she will exist is exactly what our choice is about.

Adoption as an alternative to after-birth abortion?
A possible objection to our argument is that after-birth abortion should be practised just on potential people who could never have a life worth living.9 Accordingly, healthy and potentially happy people should be given up for adoption if the family cannot raise them up. Why should we kill a healthy newborn when giving it up for adoption would not breach anyone's right but possibly increase the happiness of people involved (adopters and adoptee)?

Our reply is the following. We have previously discussed the argument from potentiality, showing that it is not strong enough to outweigh the consideration of the interests of actual people. Indeed, however weak the interests of actual people can be, they will always trump the alleged interest of potential people to become actual ones, because this latter interest amounts to zero. On this perspective, the interests of the actual people involved matter, and among these interests, we also need to consider the interests of the mother who might suffer psychological distress from giving her child up for adoption. Birthmothers are often reported to experience serious psychological problems due to the inability to elaborate their loss and to cope with their grief.10 It is true that grief and sense of loss may accompany both abortion and after-birth abortion as well as adoption, but we cannot assume that for the birthmother the latter is the least traumatic. For example, ‘those who grieve a death must accept the irreversibility of the loss, but natural mothers often dream that their child will return to them. This makes it difficult to accept the reality of the loss because they can never be quite sure whether or not it is irreversible’.11

We are not suggesting that these are definitive reasons against adoption as a valid alternative to after-birth abortion. Much depends on circumstances and psychological reactions. What we are suggesting is that, if interests of actual people should prevail, then after-birth abortion should be considered a permissible option for women who would be damaged by giving up their newborns for adoption.

If criteria such as the costs (social, psychological, economic) for the potential parents are good enough reasons for having an abortion even when the fetus is healthy, if the moral status of the newborn is the same as that of the infant and if neither has any moral value by virtue of being a potential person, then the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn.

Two considerations need to be added.

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.

We would like to thank Professor Sergio Bartolommei, University of Pisa, who read an early draft of this paper and gave us very helpful comments. The responsibility for the content remains with the authors.

Competing interests None.

Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

↵ Abortion Act. London: Stationery Office, 1967.
↵ European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies. EUROCAT Database. (accessed 11 Nov 2011). (data uploaded 27/10/2011).
↵ Kuhse H, Singer P. Should the Baby live? The Problem of Handicapped Infants. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985:143.
↵ Verhagen E, Sauer P. The groningen protocol—euthanasia in severely Ill newborns. N Engl J Med 2005;10:959–62.
↵ Alderson P. Down's Syndrome: cost, quality and the value of life. Soc Sci Med 2001;5:627–38.
↵ Tooley M. Abortion and infanticide. Philos Public Aff 1972;1:37–65.
↵ Hare RM Hare RM. Abortion and the golden rule. In: Hare RM, ed. Essays on Bioethics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993:147–67.
↵ Hare RM Hare RM. A Kantian approach to abortion. In: Hare RM, ed. Essays on Bioethics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993:168–84.
↵ Hare RM Hare RM. The abnormal child. Moral dilemmas of doctors and parents. In: Hare RM, ed. Essays on Bioethics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993:185–91.
↵ Condon J. Psychological disability in women who relinquish a baby for adoption. Med J Aust 1986;144:117–19. [Medline][Web of Science]
↵ Robinson E. Grief associated with the loss of children to adoption. In: Separation, reunion, reconciliation: Proceedings from The Sixth Australian Conference on Adoption. Stones Corner, Brisbane: Benson J, for Committee of the Conference, 1997:268–93, 278.

6 commenti:

paolo de gregorio ha detto...


Inizio con una parte che andrebbe rigettata per interscambio sintassi-semantica:

"Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life".
Qui sembra che si voglia far riferimento ad un diritto di derivazione morale, o almeno l'articolo per la gran parte sembra questo voler discutere. Ma poi continua:

"Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal".
Qui si cambia piano: "right" si trasforma nella sua accezione derivata dal diritto. A parer mio, che entità non godano di un Diritto non dimostra nulla se quelle entità abbiano un diritto di derivazione morale. Che alcuni criminali subiscano la pena capitale non determina che non siano persone con lo stesso diritto alla vita di un adulto non criminale.

Per il resto, varie cose non mi soddisfano. Non afferro proprio il nocciolo dell'argomentazione contro l'ipotesi di adozione: sembra che a prescindere prevalga lo stato mentale della madre, senza considerazioni sulla misura di giovamento che ne possa derivare presso i potenziali adottanti. Ma se la madre (parlo della madre per semplificare, ma potrebbe parlarsi di genitori) si è determinata a non far proseguire la vita al bambino non ne dovrebbe (almeno logicamente) essere più autorità privilegiata, e se lo è si sta dando corpo ad un principio che non viene esplicitato nella premessa, ovvero che la madre godrebbe di un diritto "di proprietà" assoluto, fine -in particolare- a sé stesso, e di una qualche legittimità morale. Non riesco ad intravedere alcun argomento che lo giustifichi.


paolo de gregorio ha detto...


Non mi convince nemmeno la posizione che, parlo di persone meramente "in potenza", sembra far convenire essere "esseri umani" del futuro piuttosto che feti o neonati. Ma se il ragionamento è che il non essersi formato di un piano individuale non renda "persona", allora non sono persone nemmeno tutti gli esseri umani futuri.
L'argomento per negare questa contraddizione sembra accennare ad una "certezza" futura che alcuni costrutti oggi mentali denominabili "uomo" possano divenire persone, ma questa esistenza è puramente ipotetica (un meteorite potrebbe distruggerci domani) e quindi accidentale, e oggi resta potenziale, quindi non prevalente sui nostri diritti.
Preciso che non sto dicendo che io non possa scegliere di non inquinare per non danneggiare umani del futuro ma che, stanti premesse e ragionamento, altre persone a me contemporanee potrebbero dirsi moralmente legittimate ad inquinare e distruggere la Terra quanto lo vogliono, se "ciò li farà stare meglio psicologicamente", a patto di farlo in maniera che i danni siano poco influenti nel presente.

Si farà in tempo, eventualmente, e se si accetta l'argomento per uscire dalla contraddizione sulla certezza o plausibilità del futuro, a sterilizzare l'intera umanità, rendendo transitoriamente parzialmente infelici un sei miliardi di persone, ma senza fare danno a nessuno in futuro (ed, in previsione di generazioni future, con probabile giovamento nel computo globale tra gli esseri viventi e quindi le persone).

In ogni caso io tendo a non riconoscere la premessa dell'assenza di un piano. Anche nel feto, nelle ultime fasi, questo potrebbe già esistere e quindi anche nel neonato. Questo "piano" non è propriamente equiparabile a quello di un adulto, o di un animale di alcune specie già divenuto adulto, ma mi sembra che la definizione di "piano" non sia data rigorosamente, né circoscritta, tanto che dall'articolo non potrei immaginare un termine temporale annesso. Il neonato ha il piano di dover prendere il latte dalla madre: questo potrebbe essere né più né meno "pre-programmato" o "liberamente scelto" di una promessa di matrimonio; è un piano più immediato nella sua proiezione futura (dopo aver preso il latte il neonato si sarà dimenticato di averlo fatto), ma non dimostrato meno pregnante di altri.

Tutto ciò sul piano logico. Sul piano speculativo-sociologico, ho spesso l'impressione che non si considerino le azioni morali sul piano della reciproca legittimazione in seno alla società civile: cioè non si considera, utilitariamente se vogliamo, il grado di fiducia reciproca che si instaura in una società umana che preservi incondizionatamente o una che permetta di uccidere i feti.

Giuseppe Regalzi ha detto...


riguardo all'adozione, immagino che i due autori abbiano ritenuto che se il neonato non è soggetto di diritto (eccetto per il diritto a non soffrire), allora non può che essere considerato di proprietà della madre (e del padre?), essendo difficile concepire una terza alternativa. Se aggiungi che la loro non è in realtà un'analisi utilitaristica (se non al più nel senso millsiano), ne segue che l'adozione violerebbe il diritto della madre alla non-interferenza. Io, almeno, ricostruisco così il loro ragionamento.

GF Sagredo ha detto...

Ci sono un sacco di punti su cui poter disquisire.
1)Paolo ha centrato quello delle adozioni che io condivido: possiamo discutere tranquillamente su quali siano i diritti della societa' sul neonato e come questi confliggano con quelli di una madre su un soggetto che la madre ritiene non nel diritto di vivere (chi decide qual'e' l'interesse della societa' se non la societa' stessa con le sue leggi sull'adozione?).
2) "... all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons.". Facile da scrivere, impossibile da determinare.
3) "Now, hardly can a newborn be said to have aims" questa frase che e' importantissima viste le premesse dei paragrafi a lei immediatamente precedenti ha un contenuto scientifico pari a 0.
4) Oserei dire che con queste premesse teoriche potrei uccidere chiunque rispondesse negativamente alla domanda "hai uno scopo nella vita?".

paolo de gregorio ha detto...

[L'ultima parola del mio commento voleva essere "neonati", ma posso convenire che non faccia molta differenza]

Veniamo al problema adozione. Quindi, pensando ad alcune analogie possibili, mi è venuta in mente quella di un bravissimo artista che disegni un quadro, il quale artista può o meno essere consapevole che esso abbia la potenzialità per sollevare lo stato d'animo di molte persone, ma il quale a prescindere decida di distruggere la propria opera appena terminata.

In qualche modo, comunque, deve pensarsi a questa "proprietà" discesa dalla generazione in proprio. Rimango con residue perplessità sul fatto che questo status sia fondato se viene inteso in senso assoluto, trattandosi di una vita individuale anche qualora si postulasse che essa sia priva di un piano; e la generazione di un neonato resta comunque nella sua porzione maggiore "meccanicistica" e non "opera assoluta". E cosa dire dell'ostetrico/a? Quale il suo effettivo contributo alla generazione dell'opera?

In effetti si riconosce già alla madre questa priorità, tanto che il neonato è affidato subito a lei, ma il più delle volte si ritiene ciò legittimo "fino a prova contraria". Ma anche secondo gli autori la proprietà non è assoluta, visto che negherebbero che una madre abbia il diritto di far soffrire il neonato, che quindi non è alla stregua di un dipinto.

Forse, in ultima analisi, l'obiezione rientra nell'altra, quella per me principale: che non si definisce né circoscrive il significato di "avere un piano" e pertanto non si argomenta soddisfacentemente sull'esserne privo del neonato.

Spingo ora la mia obiezione al limite: a me non è mai successo di vivere tali stati d'animo, ma ad alcune persone ritengo di sì, e mettiamo allora per ipotesi che accanto a me dorma profondamente una persona la cui sola esistenza mi faccia "dare di matto" ed essere infelice. Questa persona aveva un piano qualche ora prima, e ne avrà uno di poco mutato qualche ora dopo. Ma in questo istante è priva di coscienza, quindi non esiste un piano. Io devo conferire esistenza ad un piano che transitoriamente è virtuale, altrimenti per assurdo sarei legittimato a sopprimere questa persona, priva di piano in questo istante.

Questa mia forse è una riproposizione dell'argomento in favore dell'essere in potenza, ma io porrei l'attenzione sul fatto che quando passo al neonato, io so sicuramente distinguere tra quando egli è sveglio e quando dorme, eppure ci viene proposto che i due stati siano ontologicamente indistinguibili e caratterizzati entrambi da una totale assenza di un piano. Ma io potrei sostenere che il piano del neonato da sveglio sia più reale di quello del mio vicino da dormiente.

GF Sagredo ha detto...

Scusa Giuseppe, che senso ha mettere in termini di proprieta' la questione ("non può che essere considerato di proprietà della madre (e del padre?), essendo difficile concepire una terza alternativa."), questo e' un problema di diritti e non di proprieta'. In ultimo, il vero problema e' se il diritto della madre a non soffrire sia superiore al diritto del neonato di vivere e se la societa' ha maggior diritto a difendere questo rispetto a quello della madre di negarlo. In effetti per quanto possa sembrare paradossale questo lavoro porta acqua al mulino degli antiabortisti perche' insinua con un trucco ontologico (la necessita' di uno scopo per poter essere considerati persona) la parita' di diritti fra feto e neonato quando, invece, il tema dell'aborto e' un compromesso fra un conflitto di necessita' asimmetrico (madre-figlio) e i diritti degli stessi.