Our latest poll shows that, having reviewed arguments for and against, a majority of the public still support a change in the a law on assisted dying
Independent pollsters, YouGov, carried out the poll which presented six key arguments in favour of assisted dying and six key arguments against. The poll revealed that more than two thirds supported a change in the law after hearing both sides of the argument, while opposition to the Assisted Dying Bill stayed the same at 13%.
Why did we commission this poll?
Around the time of Second Reading of the Assisted Dying Bill a new poll commissioned by CARE, an organisation opposed to assisted dying, and conducted by ComRes was published. This poll asked members of the public whether they supported assisted dying and then presented those who did with some ‘fact’s (i.e. scaremongering, factually inaccurate and all from one side of the debate) to measure if their support changed. Not surprisingly the poll showed that support dropped from 73% to 42% after being given these ‘facts’. What’s interesting though is that 58% of people did not change their mind, regardless of the scaremongering.
In response, we commissioned YouGov to run a poll of 1,700 people giving them both sides of the assisted dying debate: the CARE questions and key evidence-based supportive facts. The poll found that when presented with both sides of the argument a large majority of people continue to support assisted dying. Opposition to a change in the law did not increase, rather the numbers of people who answered ‘don’t know whether to support or oppose’ rose from 10% to 17%.
What this reveals is that not only do the public understand the nuanced debates around assisted dying, but that support for assisted dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults remains strong when presented with the arguments for and against.