TORONTO, ON January 3, 2012 – The Catholic Civil Rights League today commented on results of a Forum Research Poll finding that 67 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they support making it legal for doctors to help the terminally ill kill themselves.
The poll, taken December 13 when a high-profile assisted death court case was in the news, surveyed 1,160 adults across Canada using accepted professional polling techniques. The question was “Are you in favour of making physician-assisted suicide legal in Canada for the terminally ill.” Support was very high in Quebec (81 per cent) and ranged from 60 to 65 per cent in other parts of Canada.
“The result is fairly consistent with what other polls have found in the past, and really speaks more to the need for improved palliative and other end-of-life care,” said Joanne McGarry, League executive director. “For most of us, it’s not that we want help in committing suicide so much as that we don’t want a painful or protracted end. This is the issue that we spoke to in our respect-life submission to the parliamentary committee on this topic, and the committee’s recent research and report report put a strong emphasis on it.”
People who support assisted suicide usually do so in a qualified way, and often express concerns about it being abused to the point where vulnerable people such as the elderly and disabled could be killed against their will. Most polls, such as that conducted last fall by Life Canada, find that these concerns are significant even if support for euthanasia or assisted suicide is expressed.