Home Business NewsBusiness 7 in 10 Britons support assisted dying in latest poll

7 in 10 Britons support assisted dying in latest poll

by LLB Reporter
16th Mar 22 12:35 pm

On the day the House of Lords considers an assisted dying amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill, a new online Ipsos poll has found that 7 in 10 Britons aged 16-75 think it should be legal for doctors to prescribe life ending medication for a patient to take themselves (69%) as well as doctors being able to administer life ending medication to a patient (68%).

Conditions under which patients would be able to request this course of action were shown to survey respondents: the patient must be 18 or over and have made a voluntary decision to end their life (signed in front of witnesses) with time to consider other options, two doctors must agree the patient is of sound mind, terminally ill and believed to have six months or less to live, and the High Court confirms it is satisfied these conditions have been met.

A majority of Britons (61%) also support doctors being able to prescribe life ending medication to patients who are not terminally ill but are physically suffering in a way that the patient finds unbearable and which cannot be cured or improved under existing medical science.

However, Britons are more divided over the same question if the patient is mentally suffering in a way they find unbearable with 39% supporting and 35% opposed.

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos in the UK, said “The issue of assisted dying has always been sensitive and, understandably, highly emotive – and public opinion is just one part of that argument.  Even so, the results of Ipsos’ new polling shows that a majority of Britons support the legalisation of assisted dying under specific conditions, as has been seen in previous polls on this matter.  Around one in six are against legalisation, although opposition increases in the case of non-terminal mental or emotional suffering, even if the patient finds it unbearable.”

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