ELECTION 2015: Green party faces questions over assisted suicide backing


The Green party has been asked how it can justify calls for the legalisation of assisted suicide at the same time that it claims to be in favour of implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

The party’s manifesto says (on page 34) that a Green government would: “Provide the right to an assisted death within a rigorous framework of regulation and in the context of the availability of the highest level of palliative care.”

But the manifesto also promises that the Greens in government would enforce the UNCRPD, although it does not explain how this would be implemented.

Many of the policies laid out by the Greens in their manifesto – such as a commitment to inclusive education, retaining the Independent Living Fund, increasing spending on disability living allowance and personal independence payment (PIP), abolishing the “bedroom tax”, scrapping the work capability assessment, and ending the use of private sector contractors to assess disabled people for PIP – appear to have secured some support from disabled people over the last week.

But the party’s support for the legalisation of assisted suicide has been almost ignored so far, although some disabled activists have said privately that they would be unable to vote for the party because of its “assisted death” policy.

A spokeswoman for the Green party said: “As a party we do not see a conflict between our commitments to both everyone’s right to an assisted death, within a rigorous framework, and the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.”

Pictured are members of Not Dead Yet UK, protesting against the campaign to legalise assisted suicide, outside the Houses of Parliament in 2014

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