Here is a link to a report on the latest Gallup poll on euthanasia. The headline is–“Majority of Americans Remain Supportive of Euthanasia.” Currently. 73% support euthanasia, which is the highest level of support since 2005. Here is quick summary–“Support for euthanasia is nearly double what it was when Gallup first polled on the question in 1947, when 37% said it should be allowed by law. By 1973, a slim majority of 53% supported it. Since 1990, solid majorities of Americans have expressed support for euthanasia, ranging from 64% to 75%.”
Interestingly, the report shows less support for doctor-assisted suicide than for euthanasia, perhaps because of the negative connotation of “suicide.” Here, as in other contexts, the precise wording of the question the pollsters ask is critically important. The “euthanasia” question (“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?”) seems designed to elicit a favorable response. The report also notes the importance of highly publicized cases–such as the Britttany Maynard case–to public perceptions.