#917 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 29 Jun 2014.
Commenting on the results of a recent Gallup poll, Time magazine claimed this week that “Most Americans Are Totally Fine With Euthanasia.” The poll asserted that strong majorities had supported this for more than twenty years.
But the survey question did not mention the words “euthanasia” or “assisted suicide.” The question asked was: “When a person has a disease that cannot be cured, do you think doctors should be allowed by law to end the patient’s life by some painless means if the patient and his or her family request it?”
Respondents to the survey appeared to know very little about euthanasia, and might have confused euthanasia with palliative care (that is, expert medical care that relieves pain, symptoms and stress caused by serious or terminal illness, seeking to improve a patient’s quality of life).
Survey questions are often pitched to deliver the results demanded by special interest groups.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.