Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Environics Research group poll: Canadian attitudes toward euthanasia and assisted suicide

The latest Environics Research group National Omnibus survey found that 55% of Canadians support the legalization of euthanasia while 63% support the legalization of assisted suicide. The national poll of 2008 adult Canadians was done in March 2013 and has a margin of error of 2.2% 19 times out of 20.

Similar to previous polls, this poll found that very few Canadians strongly support the legalization of euthanasia (18%) or assisted suicide (29%) with most of the support for euthanasia or assisted suicide falling within the "somewhat support" category. Most Canadians who somewhat supported euthanasia or assisted suicide "hesitantly" supported it.

The poll found that: Allophones, people over the age of 60, people with disabilities, and people in a lower income bracket were more likely to oppose the legalization of  euthanasia than support it.

The poll found that the strongest opposition to assisted suicide was among Allophones, people between 18 to 29, and people in a lower income bracket.

The greater question, which this poll did not ask, but previous polls did ask is - why do people support the legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide?

A similar Environics Research group poll done in October 2011 found that:
* 66% of Canadians want the government to place a greater priority on improved access to palliative care. What was important about this result is that a majority of people in every region or political affiliation wanted the Provincial and Federal governments to place a greater priority on access to palliative care. 
* 76% of Canadians expressed concern that elderly persons in abusive situations would be pressured to consent to euthanasia. The Canadian government has made elder abuse prevention a national priority. The poll found that Canadians are concerned about elder abuse and that they recognize that people who are experiencing elder abuse are vulnerable to being pressured into consenting to euthanasia, if it were legal. It is interesting to note that Conservatives were more likely to be concerned about elder abuse than other political affiliations. 
* 74% of Canadians are concerned that, if legal, people with disabilities, people who are sick or elderly would be euthanized without consent.   
This recent Environics Research group poll found that support for euthanasia and assisted suicide is not increasing in Canada and it found that Canadians remain divided on the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

In contrast to the court decision in British Columbia, there is no consensus supporting the legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide in Canada.

For more information contact;
Alex Schadenberg
Phone: 1-877-439-3348 or 519-851-1434 (cell)

Link to a previous polls on euthanasia and assisted suicide.

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