Monday, November 22, 2010

Euthanasia poll, What do the people of Quebec really want?

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

CBC News is running an online poll connected to an article that is titled: Euthanasia: Should it be legalized?

When you scroll down a little on the screen you will notice on the right hand side thepoll asks the question - Do you support the legalization of euthanasia? Link to online poll.

The CBC is reporting the results of a poll that was conducted from November 5 - 15, 2010 and commissioned by the CBC and Radio-Canada. The poll suggests that 83% of the people in Quebec want euthanasia legalized.

The reality about polling is that the results are determined by the question.

A recent Environics research group poll that was conducted between September 15 - 22, 2010 of 2025 Canadians that included a sample size of 500 people from Quebec. That poll found that 69% of the people in supported the legalization of euthanasia.

What do Quebecers actually want?

The Environics poll asked several questions to determine what Canadians actually were concerned about and the poll found.

The poll found that:
63% of Canadians and (75%) of Quebecers were concerned that elderly people would feel pressured to accept euthanasia to reduce the cost of health care.

78% of Canadians and (81%) of Quebecers were concerned that a significant number of sick, disabled or elderly persons being euthanized without their consent.

71% of Canadians and (60%) of Quebecers stated the government needs to improve palliative and hospice care rather than legalize euthanasia.

59% supported legalizing euthanasia, with only 22% strongly supporting. Support was highest in Quebec at (69%) and lowest in Saskatchewan/Manitoba 49%. Since last year, support dropped in Quebec by (6%) and dropped in Montreal by (15%).
Quebecers actually want.
Quebecers want the government to improve end-of-life care, rather than legalize euthanasia.

Quebecers are concerned that people will feel pressured to accept euthanasia in order to reduce health care costs.

Quebecers are concerned, that if euthanasia were legal, a significant number of people would be euthanized without consent. This is a well-founded concern. A study that was published in the CMAJ (May, 2010) found that 32% of assisted deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium were done without explicit request or consent.

The Quebec government should not be trying find a way to legalize euthanasia through the back-door, but rather to improve end-of-life care.
Contact Alex Schadenberg at the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - toll free: 1-877-439-3348 or


Carolyn said...

I really don't think that physicians should play God. The only one to make the decision is God. What I am concerned with is doctors keeping people alive with 27 pills that they don't need. People are living too long, why not leave the decision to them alone whether they want to be rescucitated or not. If someone doesn't want to be rescusitated then the family should respect that but don't try to play God. I know many people over 100 that don't really want to be here but the family keep intervening when something goes wrong.

Zebulon said...

"Quebecers want the government to improve end-of-life care, rather than legalize euthanasia."

That's what is called a false Dichotomy. There is nor reason you can't have both, it's not an either/or situation.

In fact euthanasia is a part of end of life care. When a persons body becomes so diseased that simply surviving to experience the pain, that person should have the choice to end their life if that is what they wish.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Dear Carolyn:

We are not opposed to refusing medical treatment or requesting a Do Not Rescusitate order. If you refuse treatment or you are not rescusitated, if you die, you will die a natural death.

We are opposed to directly and intentionally causing a persons death by euthanasia or assisted suicide.

You say we should not play God, I agree, but we should not kill people either.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Dear Zebulon:

You have simplified the actual wishes of the people and I have not.

You say that it is a false Dichotomy, that the government could improve end-of-life care and legalize euthanasia.

The recent Environics poll took that into consideration and gave the respondents that option.

The response from Quebec was: 60% wanted the government to focus on improving end-of-life care, 29% wanted the government to focus on legalizing euthanasia and 10% wanted the government to do both and 1% didn't know.

The national numbers were even more clear. Nationally, 71% wanted the government to focus on improving end-of-life care, 19% wanted the government to focus on legalizing euthanasia, 5% wanted the government to do both, while 5% didn't know.

Clearly Canadians and Quebecers want the government to focus on improving palliative and end-of-life care.