Singer is a utilitarian, so he believes that people should follow actions that bring the most good to the world. Therefore, Singer argues that the quality of a child’s life is paramount when it comes to parents deciding if their child should live or die. For example, Singer brings up the disease spina bifida, a disease that, “the lives of the worst affected children are so miserable that it is wrong to resort to surgery to keep them alive” (188). In this situation, the parents would not want the child to live because the child would be in such awful pain. Consequently, there is no reason to keep a child with this condition alive. When it comes to children with a less debilitating disease, Singer proposes how infants are replaceable.
Following his utilitarian views, Singer argues that it could be better to kill a child with a non-major disability if it meant replacing it with a normal child who will be capable of experiencing and giving more happiness. Singer writes that society treats fetuses as replaceable and considers birth as the moment when the being has moral standing. However, he disagrees with this view, saying that if society is going to treat fetuses as replaceable, then society should also treat newborn infants as replaceable too. Ultimately, since infants are replaceable and their value is extrinsic of themselves, it is wrong to equate them to normal human beings in terms of moral standing.