Read the facts behind the figures
A poll published in March allegedly shows that three quarters of Brits think euthanasia should be legalised. The poll, conducted by YouGov, also found that 56% of people felt that those with non-terminal but incurable illness should also be allowed medical assistance to die upon request.
Time for change?
Pro-euthanasia groups have welcomed the poll as showing public support for their cause - Sarah Wootton of Dignity In Dying said: 'The law must change to allow people this choice'.
However, contrary to what has been stated in recent news reports, it is not true that Britain's law is out of step with the rest of Europe, nor is it true that 'many countries have legalised some form of assisted dying'.
It is true that European countries deal with euthanasia and assisted suicide in various different way under their penal codes and impose different penalties for breaking their laws. However, only in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg is euthanasia legal. Furthermore, only a handful of countries allow physician assisted suicide. So, it is British law that reflects the european 'norm'.
Public opinion polls often do show majority support for a change in the law. But this phenomemon is quite common in polls about emotive issues – eg capital punishment, immigration – where people are invited to air their views on matters where they often don't have access to the facts...
Questions & Answers
Also, it depends what question you ask as to what answer you get. In May 2006 a Communicate Research Poll reported on this site showed the following:
Doctors themselves recognise these dangers, which is one reason why the great majority of them want nothing at all to do with 'assisted dying'.
Care Not Killing