Infanticide [was: rights for late-term and yet unborn human beings...]

From: Robert Bradbury (
Date: Sun Jan 23 2000 - 05:28:56 MST

On Sat, 22 Jan 2000, Zeb Haradon wrote:

> I wrote:
> >
> >I would say that "rationally", there probably are (rare) cases when
> >infanticide is justified.
> At first I didn't know what you were talking about, how any such case could
> exist, but I remember reading about a Jewish mother in a concentration camp
> who had a child, and she was forbidden to feed it, for the purpose of a Nazi
> experiment to determine how long the child could go without food before
> dying, so she smothered the baby.
> But I don't think it's cases like these that the college professor in
> question was speaking of.

I believe that I have discussed (quite some time back) tradeoffs
mothers have to make in supplying food to young children vs. infants.
If the food supply is scarce, infanticide makes complete sense to
save the older childran (who have a higher information content and caloric

Infanticide might also make sense if the child was from a father other
than the primary mate and its characteristics could lead to the
discovery of the unfaithfullness, leading to doubt on the part of
the primary mate regarding the origin of existing children, perhaps
resulting in paternal violence against the children or woman.
[This is stretching...]

But the primary reason would presumably be infants with defects that
would require an investment that could never be returned to society.
(This reason could have been valid in ancient times or in primitive
tribes, but is a doubtful rationale given the pace of technological
change and the possibility of future corrections of such defects.)


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