Should Doctors Help Terminally Ill Patients End Their Life?
A majority of Americans in the poll support both euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide. Half of the respondents in the survey were asked about doctor-assisted suicide using the following wording: “When a person has a disease that cannot be cured and is living in severe pain, do you think doctors should or should not be allowed by law to assist the patient to commit suicide if the patient requests it?” The results show that 56% of Americans support this and 38% do not. Gallup has asked a more general question regarding the acceptance of physicians assisting in ending suffering patients’ lives since 1996 — when the term “doctor-assisted suicide” started to come into use in the news coverage of Kevorkian. A majority have always supported doctor-assisted suicide, with a high point of 68% support in 2001. The current 56% level of support is on the low end for what Gallup has found. The other half of the respondents in the survey were asked about euthanasia more generally: “When a person h