Most Quebecers back legal euthanasia: poll

More than eight out of 10 Quebecers support the legalization of euthanasia, according to a new survey commissioned by CBC and Radio-Canada.

More than eight out of 10 Quebecers support the legalization of euthanasia, according to a survey commissioned by CBC and Radio-Canada.

Most Quebecers support legalizing euthanasia, according to a new poll. ((CBC))
At least 83 per cent of Quebecers polled earlier this month agree that euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide should be allowed in certain cases.

The poll, conducted between Nov. 5 and 15, and based on 2,200 telephone interviews, also found a minority of respondents would choose euthanasia for themselves or a loved one.

The survey by the Centre de recherche d'opinion publique (known as CROP) was released Sunday. It was conducted as a provincial commission hosts public meetings to study the divisive issue.

According to the poll:

  • Men, at 89 per cent, are slightly more open to euthanasia than women, at 79 per cent.
  • Only 13 per cent of francophones are opposed to legal euthanasia, compared to 30 per cent of non-francophones.
  • Poll results varied from urban to rural areas.
  • Quebecers in the Mauricie region reported the highest degree of support for euthanasia.
  • More than eight out of 10 people admitted they've never had to face any situation involving terminal illness and the possibility of ending a life.

Beliefs about euthanasia are somewhat influenced by "language and culture," said CROP vice-president Sylvain Gauthier. "Without generalizing, anglophones and allophones are traditionally characterized by more conservative values than francophones."

Among euthanasia opponents, most fear the procedure would be exploited.

P.O.V.:

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Many people oppose euthanasia on religious grounds, and believe it is equivalent to murder.

The poll has a margin of error of 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

A provincial committee called Dying with Dignity is travelling across Quebec to gauge public opinion on euthanasia ahead of any legal review of current rules.