The Behaviour & Attitudes poll on assisted suicide published in The Irish Times on 17th September claims that 55% of the public support assisting terminally ill patients to end their lives with 32% opposed.
The question was posed as follows: “Doctors in some countries are allowed under strict circumstances to assist terminally ill patients who are in intense pain and who repeatedly express the desire to end their own live to do so. Should doctor assisted suicide be legalised under such circumstances in Ireland?”
Responding to today’s findings, Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro-Life Campaign said:
"The result is not surprising as the question posed was highly emotive and was clearly going to elicit a predictable response. Also, given the wording of the question, I feel it was misleading for the Irish Times to headline the result with ‘Majority believe assisted suicide should be legal.’
If there were a fully informed debate on this issue, I have no doubt a majority would oppose what amounts to de facto euthanasia. If doctor assisted suicide were legalised in this country it would completely change the nature of medicine and the doctors’ duty to preserve human life.
It would also inevitably lead to some of the most vulnerable people feeling they were a burden on society and had a duty to die as the State would be sending out a clear message that it was legitimate to hasten the end of some lives.
There is a marked difference in the ethos of care of terminally ill patients in countries like Ireland where assisted suicide is not legal and countries like Holland where a once restrictive euthanasia regime has quickly escalated in scope" Ms. Cullen concluded.
For more information contact the Pro-Life Campaign Press Office on 01-6629273