Poll Claims Americans Still Support Euthanasia Death for Terri Schiavo

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 27, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poll Claims Americans Still Support Euthanasia Death for Terri Schiavo Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 27, 2006

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new ABC News poll claims an overwhelming majority of Americans still support Terri Schiavo’s former husband removing her feeding tube and killing her. Other polls show different results and find Americans favoring laws to protect what happened to Terri from happening to other disabled people.

The ABC News poll, conducted on March 5 asked Americans whether "the removal of Schiavo’s feeding tube was the right thing or the wrong thing to do."

Some 64 percent said yes, with 44 percent strongly agreeing and 20 percent somewhat agreeing. The poll found 27 percent said no with 19 percent strongly opposing the euthanasia and 8 percent somewhat opposing it.

The results are largely unchanged from a March 2005 ABC News poll that found Americans supporting removing Terri’s feeding tube on a 63-28 percent margin.

The results differ from an April 2005 Zogby International poll that found if a person becomes incapacitated and has not expressed their preference for medical treatment, as in Terri’s case, 43 percent say "the law presume that the person wants to live, even if the person is receiving food and water through a tube" while just 30 percent disagree.

Another Zogby question hit directly on Terri’s circumstances.

"If a disabled person is not terminally ill, not in a coma, and not being kept alive on life support, and they have no written directive, should or should they not be denied food and water," the poll asked.

A whopping 79 percent said the patient should not have food and water taken away while just 9 percent said yes.

In the new ABC News poll, Democrats, Republicans and independents are equally likely to say removing Schiavo’s feeding tube was the right thing to do.

Conservatives and churchgoers were less likely to be supportive and minorities were much less likely to support removing the feeding tube than white Americans.

Liberal columnist Nat Henthoff says that media polls about Terri Schiavo are meaningless because the media has not presented the whole truth about Terri’s situation.

"[H]ow many Americans knew from the polls that her husband who provided hearsay "evidence" of her wishes, corroborated only by his brother and sister-in-law," he said.

"The polls, which so confused so many millions about Terri Schiavo’s actual quality of life and her further potential, are by no means the only polls that have misinformed Americans on a wide range of vital public issues," Henthoff added.

This ABC News poll was conducted by telephone March 2-5, 2006, among a random national sample of 1,000 adults. The results have a three-point error margin.

Related web sites:
Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation – https://www.terrisfight.org