One of Britain's leading medical colleges is calling on the health profession to consider permitting the euthanasia of seriously disabled newborn babies.
The proposal by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology is a response to the number of such children surviving because of medical advances.
The college is arguing that "active euthanasia" should be considered for the overall good of families, and to to spare parents the emotional burden and financial hardship of bringing up the hardest-hit babies.
"A very disabled child can mean a disabled family," the doctors say.
"If life-shortening and deliberate interventions to kill infants were available, they might have an impact on obstetric decision-making, even preventing some late abortions, as some parents would be more confident about continuing a pregnancy and taking a risk on outcome."
Geneticists and medical ethicists supported the proposal - as did the mother of a severely disabled child - but a prominent children's doctor described it as social engineering.