Poll Claims Americans Favor Assisted Suicide, Other Surveys Disagree

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 18, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poll Claims Americans Favor Assisted Suicide, Other Surveys Disagree Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 18, 2005

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll conducted by Opinion Dynamics for Fox News contends a majority of Americans favor assisted suicide. However, other polls disagree and the results of ballot contests in Maine and Michigan also prove otherwise.

When asked if they "favor or oppose legalizing physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients," respondents indicated they backed assisted suicide by a 48-39 percent margin.

The poll also found that the use of the word suicide drives up opposition to the practice.

Asked whether states should have the right to "let doctors prescribe medications that would help mentally competent, terminally ill patients end their lives," support for assisted suicide goes up to a 52 to 37 percent margin.

This result contrasts with other polls showing Americans opposed to assisted suicide.

An August 2005 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found Americans opposed assisted suicide by a 48-44 percentage margin.

While voters in Oregon twice approved allowing assisted suicide there, other states have shown that assisted suicide is not popular.

In Michigan in 1998, voters overwhelmingly rejected a measure to legalize assisted suicide by a wide 71 to 29 percent margin. In 2000, Maine voters defeated an assisted suicide proposal by 51-49 percent.

California voters rejected an assisted suicide proposal by a 54 to 46 percent margin in 1992.