(CNSNews.com) - According to a recent Gallup poll, 72% of Americans believe that euthanasia should be legal.
In addition, the survey found that “Democrats and liberals are especially likely to favor it.”
Gallup asked, “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?”
Seventy-two percent of all adults said “yes,” doctors should be allowed by law to end the patient’s life. Only 27% said “no.”
For the ideologically liberal, 89 percent said yes, and 54 percent of conservatives said yes. Also, for Democrats, 80 percent said yes, and 62 percent of Republicans said yes.
The poll also shows a correlation between religious piety and support for euthanasia.
Gallup splits up these categories into three subgroups: attend church weekly, attend church nearly weekly/monthly, and attend church seldom/never. Among these groups, only 37 percent of weekly churchgoers said yes to euthanasia.
However, 69 percent of nearly weekly/monthly churchgoers and 86 percent of seldom/never churchgoers said yes, doctors should be allowed by law to kill patients.
Further, the poll shows a correlation between gender and age as well.
Seventy-nine percent of males support euthanasia as opposed to 65 percent of females. The poll shows that as age increases, support for euthanasia decreases, as 85 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 support euthanasia, while only 65 percent of people above the age of 65 support it.
Support for euthanasia has changed immensely from when Gallup first ran the poll in 1947 and 1950, finding that only four in 10 Americans were in support of euthanasia at the time. The question was asked again in 1970, where 53% of people were in support of euthanasia.
However, since 1990 there has been a steady increase in support, as since then, support amongst Americans has not fallen below 69 percent.
By contrast, fewer Americans support doctor-assisted suicide.
According to Gallup, doctor-assisted suicide is where the patient administers his or her own lethal dose of medicine, opposed to the doctor administering it like in euthanasia. Although Gallup’s question was slightly different regarding this poll, support decreased among Americans, showing that only 65 percent of Americans support doctor-assisted suicide.
In 2014, only 54 percent of Americans believed that doctor-assisted suicide was morally acceptable, while 42 percent of Americans said it was not morally acceptable.
Although general support for euthanasia is 72 percent among the U.S. population, more than 40 states do not have legislation to support it.