Co-blogger Pierre B. wrote the other day about how Quebec's Association féminine d'éducation et d'action sociale (AFÉAS) would "discuss", during a plenary assembly on August 23 whether they would back euthanasia, and more specifically, Francine Lalonde's euthanasia bill. According to Pierre, it turns out that the AFÉAS had their minds made up about euthanasia as far back as 2008. (And news is that on August 24 they did vote to back Lalonde's Bill C-384).
In any case, that got me wondering why euthanasia was being addressed at all within an organisation purporting to represent the interests of women. And then it dawned on me: is it possible that a certain kind of feminism, what I'll call neo-feminism, views the sick and infirm the same way it views the unborn: as a burden that disproportionately falls to women to carry, and that therefore needs to be eliminated if ever true "equality" of the sexes is to become a reality?
The same way women, according to neo-feminism, need to be given the option to get rid of the burden of an unwanted pregnancy in order to be as free and autonomous as their male counterparts (the latter having the unfair "advantage" of being able to physically flee from unwanted pregnancies), women who invariably become saddled with elderly parents and inlaws and other sick or otherwise disabled family members (and it is women who normally care for these), should they wish to be as free and self-determining as their male counterparts (and who wouldn't want that?),also need the option to get rid of these dependents, or, at the very least, to give them a nudge in that direction, allowing the guilt ridden sick person to get the hint and "choose" to off themselves or, to use the current euphemism, "to die with dignity."
Of course, I very much doubt that the AFÉAS is backing euthanasia because they see killing the elderly as a means of emancipating women. They most probably believe that euthanasia will be a good, that it will be well "hedged-in" in law, and that it will only affect a tiny portion of the patient population and won't become a widespread practice. What I'm saying, however, is that this organisation, while having its eyes fixed on a small minortiy of cases where euthanasia might seem a compassionate route, is ignoring, because of ideological blinkers, the massive amount of cases where euthanasia will be abused, just as it and organisations like it have ignored the all-too-predictable --and massive--abuse of abortion when abortion was being debated.
The symmetry between these two types of "medical intervention"--abortion and euthanasia-- is as obvious as it is chilling: remember that abortion was allowed, at first, as a compassionate solution in certain, well-defined circustances? That AFÉAS and other euthanasia peddlers overlook this symmetry is evidence of ideological blindness at its purest and most lethal.