Monday, March 21, 2005
Majority of Americans pro-euthanasia
As Washington lawmakers and the President throw politics around the case of Terri Schiavo, this New York Times story (registration required) addresses the growing support for euthanasia in this country even though Orgeon is the only state to have an assisted-suicide law on the books (with only 37 Oregonians taking advantage of the law in 2004):
There are no precise figures for how many Americans enlist their doctors' help each year in ending their lives, and support in polls for the practice varies on how the question is asked. But surveys suggest that more than half of Americans find physician-assisted suicide morally acceptable. In a 2004 Gallup survey, 65 percent agreed that a doctor should be allowed to assist a suicide "when a person has a disease that cannot be cured and is living in pain," up from 52 percent in 1996.
Experts say support for assisted suicide is likely to increase as baby boomers, long accustomed to making the decisions that shape their lives, demand a say over their deaths, as well.