Poll: Americans Becoming More Opposed to Euthanasia, Worry About Elderly

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 12, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poll: Americans Becoming More Opposed to Euthanasia, Worry About Elderly

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 12
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new national poll finds Americans are largely split on the idea of legalizing euthanasia, but the opposition to the practice is growing. The new survey from Angus Reid Public Opinion, a Canadian polling firm, contains a flawed polling question but the results are still somewhat useful.

Although three states — Oregon, Washington, and Montana — have allowed assisted suicide, Angus Reid uses the term "euthanasia" when asking Americans about it.

"Generally speaking, do you support or oppose legalizing euthanasia in the U.S.?" the February 4-5 poll of 1,001 Americans asked.

The survey found 42 percent support euthanasia while 37 percent are opposed and 22 percent are unsure.

Breaking the polling results down further, 14 percent answered "Strongly Support," 28 percent "Moderately Support", 14 percent "Moderately Oppose," and 23 percent "Strongly Oppose."

The poll found little partisan difference on the issue with 47 percent of Democrats supporting euthanasia while 51 percent of Republicans oppose it. Some 47 percent of independents backed legalized euthanasia.

Although a plurality supported the vague concept of euthanasia, the level of support is down from the August 2009 poll Angus Reid conducted. That survey found support for euthanasia at a 45-32 percent clip with 23 percent undecided.

Also, the poll asked a follow-up question asking if people felt legalizing euthanasia "would leave vulnerable people without sufficient protection." Fifty-two percent agreed, 32 percent disagreed, 15 percent were unsure.

Angus Reid also asked if legalizing euthanasia "would send the message that the lives of the sick or disabled are of less valued."

Respondents split 44-44 percent with 12 percent saying they are uncertain.

Alex Schadenberg, the head of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, told LifeNews.com today that he is still encouraged that Americans, and Canadians, can push back the efforts from euthanasia advocates to legalize assisted suicide.

"I am constantly reading comments that basically state that we cannot win the assisted suicide battle. I am convinced that we can push-back and stop the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide," he said.

Schadenberg says pro-life advocates can win the debate if they frame the assisted suicide based on the truth.

"We often lose heart when an online poll is linked to a terrible story and it appears that most people favor assisted suicide. The fact is that we are all affected by an emotional story but when the issue is discussed based on being a ‘recipe for elder abuse’ or connected to the Barbara Wagner story or connected to a real life story of a person with a disability, then we win," he explained.

"We need to take these types of poll results to heart and tell others that legalizing euthanasia gives a physician the right to directly and intentionally cause your death and legalizing assisted suicide gives a physician the right to be directly and intentionally involved with causing your death," he said.

"I find that most people really don’t like the idea of giving someone else the right to cause their death," Schadenberg concluded.

Related web sites:
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition – https://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.