The article below is an opinion piece written by a CPBG-ML member as part of a wider discussion. The party does not currently have an official policy on this issue.
As far as I am concerned the right to choose to die is on a par with the right to abortion. It should be there but nobody should be required to opt for it.
As someone fast approaching the infirmity of old age, I neither want to spend months in useless agony that can only end in my dying naturally anyway nor to sit around in some appalling nursing home that stinks of people’s unchanged soiled garments and costs £3,000 a month that should be going to the education of my grandchildren.
I don’t have the right to choose, but I jolly well should have. Which is not to say that it would be a choice I would exercise except in extremis.
We support the right to abortion because we recognise the reality that capitalism drives people to it. With abortion a young new life is being terminated. With voluntary euthanasia an old and no longer useful life is being terminated. No contest.
OF COURSE there would be attempts to use it as a cost saving measure and grasping relatives who try to pressurise people into it, but there is plenty of that surrounding abortion too. Were voluntary euthanasia to be legalised there would have to be serious safeguards built in.
But so long as capitalism is there to heap misery upon misery on the elderly, then I support the right to die.
For an alternative view on this topic, read Viva la vida.