New Gallup poll on euthanasia

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.


Richard Myers

Richard S. Myers, the Vice-President of UFL, is Professor of Law at Ave Maria School of Law, where he teaches Antitrust, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, and Religious Freedom. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Kenyon College and earned his law degree at Notre Dame, where he won the law school's highest academic prize. He began his legal career by clerking for Judge John F. Kilkenny of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Myers also worked for Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue in Washington, D.C. He taught at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law before joining the Ave Maria faculty. He is a co-editor of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Natural Law Tradition: Contemporary Perspectives (Catholic University of American Press, 2004) and a co-editor of Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy (Scarecrow Press, 2007). He has also published extensively on constitutional law in law reviews and also testified before Congressional and state legislative hearings on life issues. Married to Mollie Murphy, who is also on the faculty at Ave Maria School of Law, they are the proud parents of six children - Michael, Patrick, Clare, Kathleen, Matthew, and Andrew.