Gallup Poll Falsely Claims 69% of Americans Support Euthanasia

National   |   Alex Schadenberg   |   Jun 27, 2014   |   10:15AM   |   Washington, DC

Gallup poll results released on June 18 claim that 69% of Americans support euthanasia and 58% of Americans support physician-assisted suicide.

The Gallup poll euthanasia question asked:

picassistedsuicide17When a person has a disease that cannot be cured, do you think doctors should be allowed by law to end the patient’s life by some painless means if the patient and his or her family request it?

The Gallup poll question is vague.

The Gallup poll question refers to ending a patient’s life by some painless means. Many Americans believe that withholding or withdrawing medical treatment is the same as euthanasia and many Americans confuse palliative care with euthanasia.

The November 2013 Pew Research survey employed clear questions and it found that 47% of Americans support assisted suicide.

The 2013 Pew Research survey also found that 66% of Americans believe that there are times when a person should be allowed to die while 31% of Americans thought that doctors should do everything to save a person’s life.

When comparing the Pew research poll to the Gallup poll it is clear that the way a question is asked determines the outcome of the poll. Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.