Strong public support for euthanasia

By April 29, 2012 Recent News

Sunday Star Times 29 April 2012
The MP campaigning for the right to die has been buoyed by a poll that shows more than 85 per cent of respondents to a survey supported voluntary euthanasia.
The Sunday Star-Times reader poll of more than 1000 people also found almost three-quarters of people would help a terminally-ill loved one commit suicide, and that support for a law change is highest among men, and those over 60.
Labour MP Maryan Street has been working with the Voluntary Euthanasia Society on her End of Life Choice Bill, which would give people the right to “choose how and when they exit this life”. The private members bill will have to be drawn from the ballot to get a hearing, but Street says the reader poll had the highest support she had seen, with most polls getting 75 per cent backing for a law change. “There is more support out in the community for this than people imagine,” Street said.
She had seen a change since a 1995 euthanasia vote was lost 61-29, to 60-57 when it was revisited in 2003. “And, nine years on, attitudes have changed again.”
Her bill includes three levels of protection.
“The first is for the patient themselves. They would have to be tested by two physicians to prove they are of sound mind and understand what they are asking for, and the consequences.
”The next is for doctors, so they are not compelled to assist if it doesn’t fit their beliefs, and to protect them from criminal liability if they help.
And the third is for a loved one who agrees to assist. People who have been asked by their loved one, should be protected from criminal liability.”