Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
November 9, 2009
Canadians favour legal euthanasia
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
OTTAWA - A new poll shows 61 per cent Canadians would support legalizing euthanasia but at the same time would prefer government to make good end-of-life care a priority.
In Quebec support for legalized euthanasia is a whopping 75 per cent.
The Environics poll released Nov. 2 also shows Canadians are uneasy with legalization.
A majority expressed concern about the impact of legalization on elderly people who might feel pressure to accept euthanasia to control health care costs.
A majority also indicated concern that "significant numbers of sick, disabled or elderly people will be euthanized without their consent," according to the poll's summary.
"Furthermore, when asked to choose between two options, which should be the greater priority for the government, Canadians prefer, by an almost four-to-one margin, investing in more and better palliative and hospice care than in legalizing euthanasia," it said.
The poll, conducted Oct. 6-13 for Life Canada, a national umbrella organization for local and provincial educational pro-life groups, reveals many Canadians confuse the issue of allowing someone to die with actually killing a patient, said Life Canada president Dr. Delores Doherty in an interview from St. John's, NL.
A recent survey of Quebec physicians show they too are confused about the issue, she said. Withdrawing treatment and allowing someone to die of natural causes has become confused with euthanasia, which involves an intent to kill.
A majority (56 per cent) of Canadians expressed concern about pressure on the elderly to save on health care costs. Seven in 10 expressed some concern about sick, disabled and elderly persons being euthanized without their consent.
Forty-one per cent said they were "very concerned."
Doherty noted that doctors in Holland, where euthanasia is legal, sometimes go home after a day's work and return the next morning to find their patient has been euthanized without his or her consent during the night. The bed is empty.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.