Should Euthanasia Be Legal?

May 31 (UPI) -- Nearly three-quarters of Americans support the practice of patient euthanasia, results of a Gallup poll published Thursday indicate.

According to Gallup's results, 72 percent of Americans believe doctors should be legally allowed, at a patient's and a family's request, to end a terminally ill patient's life using painless means.

Young adults, men, Democrats and liberals are especially likely to favor euthanasia, Gallup said. Only among weekly churchgoers does support for euthanasia drop below a majority.

Thursday's findings reflect an ongoing trend in American support for euthanasia. Since 1990, American support for the practice hasn't dipped below 64 percent and has been as high as 75 percent.

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By contrast, a practice known as "doctor-assisted suicide" -- where a patient self-administers a fatal dose of medication prescribed by a doctor -- receives less public support than euthanasia, where someone other than the patient administers the lethal medication.

"The euthanasia question uses the language 'end the patient's life by some painless means,' which may sound less harsh than committing suicide," Gallup said.

Wording affects how Americans respond to questions about doctor-assisted suicide versus euthanasia, Gallup said in a separate survey.

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"A wording that refers to the patient's intention to end his or her life as 'suicide,' doesn't say family members are involved in the decision, and doesn't specify that the procedure will involve 'painless means' produces lower support than the alternative wording," Gallup said.

Support for euthanasia is nearly double what it was when Gallup first polled on the question in 1947, when 37 percent of respondents said they approved of the practice.

More than 1,000 adults in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., were included in the survey, which has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Source : https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/05/31/Gallup-Most-Americans-say-euthanasia-should-be-legal/7551527775746/

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