Public opinion

Public Opinion of Assisted Dying image

The vast majority of the British public support assisted dying

Evidence demonstrates that the vast majority of the public support assisted dying for terminally ill people in specific circumstances (a person with a terminal and painful illness from which they will die at the person’s request, with safeguards in place to ensure that potentially vulnerable people are protected).

 

Opinion

 

The General Public

 

  • The 2010 BSA survey found that 82% of the general public agreed that a doctor should probably or definitely be allowed to end the life of a patient with a painful incurable disease at the patient’s request [2].
  • The 2007 BSA survey found that 80% agreed that a person with a terminal and painful illness from which they will die should be allowed an assisted death [3].

 

People with a Religious Belief

 

  • A 2013 YouGov survey commissioned by Inter-Faith leaders for Dignity in Dying (IFDiD) found only 18% of those who identified themselves as belonging to a religion were opposed to the legalisation of assisted dying for terminally ill adults with mental capacity. 62% were supportive and 18% were neither opposed nor supportive or hadn’t made up their mind.
  • The 2010 BSA survey found that 71% of religious people agreed that a doctor should probably or definitely be allowed to end the life of a patient with a painful incurable disease at the patient’s request.

 

Disabled People

 

  • The 2007 BSA Survey found that 75% of people with a disability believed that a person with a terminal and painful illness from which they will die should be allowed an assisted death. (7)

 

 

 

Evidence sources

 

[1] McAndrew S (2010) Religious faith and contemporary attitudes, in Park A, Curtice J, Thomson K, Phillips A, Clery E, Butt S (eds) British Social Attitudes: 2009-2010. The 26th Report London, Sage: 87-113

[2]“Suppose a person has a painful and incurable disease. Do you think that doctors should be allowed by law to end the patient’s life, if the patient requests it?”

[3] Clery E, McLean S, Phillips M (2007) Quickening death: the euthanasia debate, in Parks A, Curtice J, Thomson K, Phillips M and Johnson M (eds.) British Social Attitudes: the 23rd report: perspectives on a changing society London, Sage: 35-54

[4] YouGov/University of Lancaster (2013) http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/qsaixtu2j4/YG-Archive-University-of-Lancaster-300113-faith-matters-euthanasia.pdf

[5] McAndrew S (2010) Religious faith and contemporary attitudes, in Park A, Curtice J, Thomson K, Phillips A, Clery E, Butt S (eds) British Social Attitudes: 2009-2010. The 26th Report London, Sage: 87-113

[6] YouGov/IFDiD (2013) http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/qfxfmkooe6/YG-Archive-Dignity-in-Dying-results-240413-assisted-dying-full-religion.pdf

[7] Clery E, McLean S, Phillips M (2007) Quickening death: the euthanasia debate, in Parks A, Curtice J, Thomson K, Phillips M and Johnson M (eds.) British Social Attitudes: the 23rd report – perspectives on a changing society London, Sage: 35-54 (with additional data from the authors)