The moral significance of being born

Neil Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterOther

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is a response to Giubilini and Minerva's defence of infanticide. I argue that any account of moral worth or moral rights that depends on the intrinsic properties of individuals alone is committed to agreeing with Giubilini and Minerva that birth cannot by itself make a moral difference to the moral worth of the infant. However, I argue that moral worth need not depend on intrinsic properties alone. It might also depend on relational and social properties. I claim that the in principle availability of neonates to participate in scaffolded interactions with carers might plausibly be seen as contributing to their moral worth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-329
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medical Ethics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

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