Poll: 61 Percent of Conn. Voters Support Doctor Assisted Suicide

Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 08:43 AM

By Courtney Coren

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Sixty-one percent of Connecticut voters say they support allowing doctor assisted suicide, in which physicians help mentally competent, terminally ill patients take their own lives by prescribing lethal drugs to them, a new poll finds.

Thirty-two percent said they oppose doctor assisted suicide, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll taken of 1,878 registered voters in Connecticut from Feb. 26-March 2. The poll has a margin of error of 2.3 percentage points.

Lawmakers are debating a bill to legalize doctor assisted suicide in the Constitution State.

"Public support for allowing assisted dying in Connecticut is a very personal issue, crossing partisan, gender and age lines," Douglas Schwartz, Quinnipiac University Poll director, said in a statement.

Among men, 63 percent said they supported the measure, and 58 percent of women said they favored the bill.

There was more of a divide when it came to party affiliation with only 51 percent of Republicans saying that they approved of doctor assisted suicide in this way compared to 66 percent of Democrats who said they supported the bill.

However, only 33 percent said that they would take advantage of the right, if it became law, and ask for a doctor's help to end their own life if they became terminally ill and was in pain. Thirty-nine percent said they would not.

In May, Vermont passed a measure allowing for doctor assisted suicide for terminally ill patients, becoming the fourth state along with Oregon, Washington, and Montana where doctors may help a terminally ill patient end his or her life without any legal penalties.

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