Lethal Sentiments by Anthony McCarthy

Lethal Sentiments

on Fetal Pain & False Humanitarianism

In a paper published last January in the Journal of Medical Ethics, the authors conclude that, in the light of recent neuroscientific data, they "no longer view fetal pain (as a core, immediate sensation) in a gestational window of 12–24 weeks as impossible based on the neuroscience." The lead author, Professor Stuart Derbyshire, a psychologist, was a member of the Working Party of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which put out a widely quoted report in 2010 stating that "the experience of pain needs cognitive, sensory and affective components, as well as the necessary anatomical and physiological neural connections." The report concluded that the unborn can only experience pain after 24 weeks, but that in any case, analgesics for a fetus being aborted are, on balance, not to be recommended even after that point.

Derbyshire now rejects such views and recommends that analgesics be considered much earlier, "especially after 18 weeks." In the light of new data, the (pro-choice) Derbyshire and his (pro-life) co-author write:

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Anthony McCarthy is the founder and director of Bios Centre and a visiting scholar in moral philosophy at the International Theological Institute in Trumau, Austria. He previously held the post of research fellow at the Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Oxford and holds degrees in philosophy from King's College London, University College London, and the University of Surrey. He has lectured widely and published on ethical issues for both academic and wider audiences.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more on abortion from the online archives

24.1—January/February 2011

Sanger's Victory

How Planned Parenthood's Founder Played the Christians, and Won by Allan C. Carlson

30.3—May/June 2017

Known Trespassing

on the Misuse of Property Rights to Justify Slavery & Abortion by Robert Hart

26.1—Jan/Feb 2013

The Destroyer of Peace

on Abortion as a Matter of National Welfare by W. Ross Blackburn


more from the online archives

27.4—July/August 2014

The Things Freely Given

The Bible, Sacred Theology & the Mind of Christ by Patrick Henry Reardon

25.6—Nov/Dec 2012

Clashing Symbols

The Loss of Aristotelian Logic & the Social, Moral & Sexual Consequences by Peter Kreeft

26.5—Sept/Oct 2013

More than Schooling

The Perils of Pragmatism in Christian Attitudes Toward the Liberal Arts by Robin Phillips

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00