“Feminists have long recognized the double standard of aging and are open to the worry that there may be a double standard of dying.” – Sindey Callahan
Professor Silvia Canetto of Colorado State University conducted research regarding mercy killings. Her studies showed that two-thirds of the victims of mercy killings are women. Where suicide is often seen as a male act and men commit suicide more often than women, assisted suicide affects both sexes equally. Why could this be? Sidney Callahan, a psychologist and lecturer, suggests this is because women, on the whole, live longer than men. Older women are also more likely to be poorer than men, and thus assisted dying is a clear option if available. Others propose that as women are traditionally carers, taking on the role of teacher and mother, they are uncomfortable when they require care themselves, and thus feel like a burden.
“feminist ideals of inclusive justice, caretaking, and interconnectedness of all the living require that we struggle against assisted suicide and euthanasia.”
Buhrer, C. “Women Shown as Typical Mercy Killing Targets,” The Collegian, 25 Oct. 2001.
Callahan, S. “A Feminist Case Against Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” The American Feminist, Summer 1999.
“Euthanasia and Women,” Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, June 2003.