(CNSNews.com) – A Gallup poll released today, June 24, found that the majority of Americans believe euthanasia should be legal, with 69 percent agreeing that when a person has an incurable disease and requests euthanasia “doctors should be allowed by law to end the patient's life by some painless means.”
The first time Gallup found a majority in favor of euthanasia was 1973. The percentage in favor of euthanasia grew from 53 percent in 1973 to 65 percent in 1990.
“In the last 25 years, Americans have solidly been in favor of doctors having the ability to end patients' lives, with between 64% and 75% favoring the practice,” Gallup wrote.
While 69 percent of Americans agreed that doctors should be allowed to end patients' lives by painless means, only 51 percent of Americans said that if they personally had an incurable disease and were living in severe pain would they “consider ending their own lives by some painless means.”
Also, although 69 percent said that doctors should be allowed to assist in ending a patient’s life, only a slight majority, 53 percent of Americans, said the practice is “morally acceptable.”
“Over the past 15 years, the highest percentage of Americans saying doctor-assisted suicide is morally acceptable occurred in 2015, at 56%,” according to Gallup, “this trend has fluctuated between 45% and 56% since 2001.”
The poll’s results come just after California’s “End of Life Option Act,” legalizing physician-assisted suicide went into effect in June.
The practice is also legal in Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Montana and New Mexico.
The Gallup poll’s results are based on phone interviews that were conducted May 4-8 on a random sample of 1,025 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.