I laughed loud and hard when I saw this picture for the first time. What a traumatic and bizarre image.

That it needs to exist is sad. That someone thought they could stop the behavior with a sign is absurd. That someone was commissioned to create the sign is oddly funny. I guess I have a macabre sense of humor.

But there is a lesson here: For those of you who have forgotten, the job of the bioethicist to look at this and ask, Why?

The simpler and more obvious an answer, the more difficult it is to prove. The recent essay “After Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?”  in the Journal of Medical Ethics is already enraging more than a few people. The purpose of articles that are so obviously controversial and counter-intuitive. is not to endorse or advocate a political position and say “this is right and should be law.” Instead, they are exactly what intellectual exercise is meant to be: a reasoned exploration of an idea we find difficult and troubling. True philosophy, honest ethics, dares to ask the un-askable questions. If we are horrified by what we find, then we need to examine the very foundations of our philosophies.

If something is obvious, then that is the very thing a diligent bioethicsist should be questioning and doubting.