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.


Do you support the legalization of euthanasia? Take our survey.

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.