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Infanticide and Geronticide

  • Stephen G. Post (a1)


This essay considers recent ethical literatures on the question of the direct killing of newborns and of the severely demented elderly. At various points, the arguments in these literatures are brought together for comparison and contrast. Finally, a constructive argument against infanticide and geronticide is developed.



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Barash, D. P. 1984. Aging: An Exploration. University of Washington Press, Seattle.
Becker, J. T. et al. 1988. Neuropsychological function in Alzheimer's disease: patterns of impairment and rates of progression. Archives of Neurology, 45, 263–8.
Bettelheim, B. 1976. The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. Knopf, New York.
Boswell, J. 1989. The Kindness of Strangers. Pantheon, New York.
Cassirer, E. 1944. An Essay on Man. Yale University Press, New Haven.
Dopple, R. L. and Hutton, J. T. (eds) 1988. Caring for the Alzheimer's Patient: A Practical Guide. Prometheus Books, Buffalo.
Durkheim, E. 1965. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Free Press, New York.
Gert, B. 1966. The Moral Rules. Harper, New York.
Green, R. M. 1988. Religion and Moral Reason: A New Method for Comparative Study. Oxford University Press, New York.
Hay, J. W. and Ernst, R. L. 1987. The economic costs of Alzheimer's disease. American Journal of Public Health, 77, 1169–75.
Kuhse, H. 1987. The Sanctity-of-Life Doctrine in Medicine. Oxford University Press, New York.
Lebra, T. S. 1976. Japan: Patterns of Behavior. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.
Lecky, W. E. H. 1955. History of European Morals: From Augustus to Charlemagne. George Braziller, New York.
MacIntyre, A. 1988. Whose Justice? Which Rationality? University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame.
Maletta, G. J. 1985. ‘Medications to modify at-home behavior of Alzheimer's patients. Ceriatrics, 40, 3142.
Moody, H. R. 1985. ‘The ethics of suicide in old age. In Lesnoff-Caravaglia, (ed) Values, Ethics, and Aging. Human Sciences Press, New York.
Motokiyo, Z. 1977. ‘The Deserted Crone’ in Masterpieces of the Orient. W. W. Norton, New York.
Nietzsche, F. 1968. Twilight of the Idols. Penguin, New York.
Plum, F. 1979. Dementia: an approaching epidemic. Nature, 279, 372–3.
Post, S. G. 1988. ‘History, infanticide, and imperiled newborns. Hastings Center Report, 18 (4), 1417.
Rachels, J. 1986. The End of Life: Euthanasia and Morality. Oxford University Press, New York.
Shewman, D. A., Capron, A. M. et al. 1989. The use of anencephalic infants as organ sources: a critique. Journal of the American Medical Association, 261, 1773–81.
Sullivan, L. E. 1988. Noise, nakedness, flood, and fire. Second Opinion: Health, Faith, and Ethics, 4, 6891.
Tooley, M. 1983. Abortion and Infanticide. Oxford University Press, New York.

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Infanticide and Geronticide

  • Stephen G. Post (a1)


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