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Independent survey shows 76% of public supports Assisted Dying Bill despite excellent palliative care (12 May 2006)

Independent survey shows 76% of public supports Assisted Dying Bill despite excellent palliative care

Churches campaign having a negative impact on Churchgoers -one third less likely to attend services or donate

76% per cent of the public are backing the assisted dying Bill despite knowing there is excellent palliative care, on the day the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill is debated in Parliament. 13 per cent oppose it. Six times more people want the law changed than those who do not.

The survey, conducted by YouGov this week (8-10 May), reveals 76 per cent of the public supports assisted dying laws in full recognition that palliative care in Britain is often excellent, and with more than a third of them having personal experience of hospices or palliative care.

YouGov surveyed 1770 people and found strong support by both genders and across all geographic areas, all ages ranges, and between those with no faith (40%) and Christians (50%).

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying, said:

“The public is being massively turned off by this week’s well-funded demonstration of religious opposition against a Bill they clearly support. That one third (29%) of churchgoers are less likely to attend services or donate money should send the Archbishop of Canterbury a clear message about how his own followers feel.

“This is the first time the public has been asked to assess assisted dying laws in the context of excellent palliative care.It is clear that the public truly appreciates the scope of the problem. Even with the high quality of our palliative care some people will still want this option.

“The public has reached the view, summed up by recent House of Lords Select Committee report, that, รข??the demand for [assisted dying] is particularly strong among determined individuals whose suffering derives more from the fact of their terminal illness than from its symptoms and who are unlikely to be deflected from their wish to end their lives by more or better palliative care.”

Ms Annetts added,

“Religious leaders should now stop wasting millions of pounds of Christian money playing politics by opposing this Bill, and listen to the views of their own churchgoers and donors who understand the reality of life and death.”

Full results on Dignity in Dying’s website: