Cue the crazed Feministas! Apparently, the “Patriarchy” now intends to use permanently comatose (PVS) and brain dead (BD/DNC) women as wombs. Because we all know these sorts will be stridently and possibly violently opposed to Whole Body Gestational Donation (WBGD). Insofar as they’re concerned, this is just a call for Zombie Handmaids ala some twisted and rather gross Z Day version of Gilead.
But hey! We could call it 40 Weeks After! 😆
Or not. You see, this is outrage based, at least partially on pure, unadulterated, Feminist ignorance and their dystopian fantasies of oppression – especially when it comes to bearing children. It has little to no intersection with reality.
The truth is that the idea of women doing Whole Body Gestational Donation wasn’t published in a medical journal. It was published in a medical ethics journal, specifically Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics. By their very nature a large portion of the papers in such publications are speculative in nature and overtly seek to find, or even push, the boundaries of acceptable practice within the medical field.
Another, even more ironic truth, is that the paper was written in late 2022 by a woman, one Dr. Anna Smajdor PhD, who is currently a tenured professor of Practical Philosophy at the University of Oslo. Even more ironic is that she based a great deal of her paper on the previous work done by another woman, Rosalie Ber, who apparently originally floated the idea of using comatose women as gestational surrogates.
Yessiree! The entire concept of WBGD was conceived by women – Smajdor is even the person to name it. But the Patriarchy!
But, In Some Defense Of Feminists
None of the above is meant to say that nothing heinous could come of Smajdor’s and Ber’s idea now that it’s been put out there. Rahm Emanuel’s Complete Lives System and how it was implemented to some extent during COVID-19 shows us that sometimes published speculative ethics are essentially an excuse for normatively reprehensed behavior. There’s always room for doctors – who play God far too often – to behave badly.
And, as well, there’s the legal issues of consent – issues that Smajdor did mention, but didn’t and can’t address. And there’s a long if not common history of arguments over what to do with people who are PVS or BD/DNC, with next of kin often being the ones to make those decisions for the “living remains” of the victim. So yeah, it’s not utterly impossible that a husband or parent could make the legal decision for a PVS or BD/DNC to enter into WBGD, but it would be a vanishingly rare occurrence.
So, they’re not completely wrong in their worries – if worrying about WBGD is valid in the first place – but it’s not the Patriarchy and it’s not a likely outcome. Men are not going to turn them into Zombie Handmaids.