Friday, February 15, 2019

Care Not Killing poll: public are aware of the dangers of assisted suicide

The Care Not Killing Alliance UK recently conducted a poll that indicates that the public are aware of the dangers of legalizing assisted suicide.

A ComRes poll concerning attitudes to assisted suicide, commissioned by CNK, found that:
● 51% 'would be concerned that some people would feel pressurised into accepting help to take their own life so as not to be a burden on others' if assisted suicide were legal (with only 25% disagreeing) 
● 48% say that giving GPs 'the power to help patients commit suicide' would 'fundamentally change the relationship between a doctor and patient, since GPs are currently under a duty to protect and preserve the lives of patients' (with only 23% disagreeing).
Gordon MacDonald
Dr Gordon MacDonald, a spokesman for Care Not Killing commented:

'This poll shows a greater level of understanding of the difficulties with assisted suicide than most so-called experts think possible. Usually the public are only asked a simple rights based question that is heavily framed, but these questions reveal significant unease around the removing universal protections to allow doctors to kill their patients.'
The poll found that most (51 per cent) of those surveyed were concerned that some people might feel pressured into accepting help to take their own life 'so as not to be a burden on others', while half that proportion (25 per cent) disagreed. These figures reflect what is happening in the US states of Oregon and Washington where a majority of those ending their lives in 2017 said that not wanting to be a burden was a motivation for their decision. This compared to just one in five (21 per cent) in those states who were concerned about the possibility of inadequate pain control, or experiencing discomfort.

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