Majority of Californians Supports Doctor-Assisted Suicide
Fifty-seven percent of California adults support a bill (AB 651) that would allow terminally ill patients to obtain life-ending medications, according to a February Field Poll, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Under the bill, terminally ill patients would have to be declared mentally competent by two doctors and wait for 15 days before they would be able to request a lethal prescription to self-administer.
The poll also found:
- 34% of Californians are opposed to the bill (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 3/15);
- 70% of California adults and 69% of registered voters said terminally ill patients have the right to ask for and receive life-ending medicines;
- 80% of Democrats and 59% of Republicans favored the bill;
- 73% of men and 67% of women supported the bill;
- 65% of Protestants and 64% of Roman Catholics supported the bill; and
- 76% of born-again Christians opposed the legislation.
The survey was conducted between Feb. 12 and 26. Five hundred adult residents were polled for the survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points (Chorneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/15).
A majority of Californians has supported doctor-assisted suicides in polls since 1979, according to Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo (Sacramento Bee, 3/15).
Poll results are available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report. This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.