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Opinion Polls/Surveys



  1. Rasmussen Reports (Oct. 12-13, 2015)
  2. Gallup News Service (May 8-11, 2007 - May 6-10, 2015)
  3. Angus Reid Public Opinion (Feb. 4-5, 2010)
  4. Gallup Organization (June 6-11, 1947 - May 10-13, 2007)
  5. CBS News/ New York Times (June 1990 - Jan. 20-25, 2006)
  1. FOX News (Oct. 2005)
  2. Pew Research Center (Mar. 2001 - July 2005)
  3. Harris Interactive (1983 - Apr. 5-10, 2005)
  4. ABC News (Mar. 2002)

1. Rasmussen Reports (Oct. 12-13, 2015)

"California is now the latest state to allow voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide for those who are terminally ill. Do you favor or oppose the practice of voluntary euthanasia?"

Favor Oppose Undecided
Oct. 12-13, 2015 52% 30% 17%
Subjects: 1,000 adults
Margin of Error: ± 3%
Source: Rasmussen Reports, "Americans Are Still Supportive of Assisted Suicide," www.rasmussenreports.com, Oct. 15, 2015

2. Gallup News Service (May 8-11 2007 - May 6-10, 2015)

"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?"

Yes No Not Sure
May 6-10, 2015 70% 27% 3%
May 8-11, 2014 69% 27% 4%
May 2-7, 2013 70% 27% 3%
May 3-6 2012 64% 33% 3%
May 5-8, 2011 67% 28% 5%
May 3-6, 2010 66% 29% 5%
May 8-11, 2008 68% 30% 2%

"When a person has a disease that cannot be cured and is living in severe pain, do you think doctors should or should not be allowed by law to assist the patient to commit suicide if the patient requests it?"

Should Should Not No Opinion
May 6-10, 2015 68% 28% 4%
May 8-11, 2014 58% 39% 3%
May 2-7, 2013 51% 45% 4%
May 3-6 2012 53% 42% 5%
May 5-8, 2011 53% 43% 4%
May 3-6, 2010 53% 42% 5%
May 8-11, 2008 62% 34% 5%

"Next, I'm going to read you a list of issues. Regardless of whether or not you think it should be legal, for each one, please tell me whether you personally believe that in general it is morally acceptable or morally wrong. How about doctor assisted suicide?"

Morally acceptable Morally wrong Depends on the situation Not a moral issue No opinion
May 6-10, 2015 56% 37% 4% -- 2%
May 8-11, 2014 52% 43% 3% -- 1%
May 2-7, 2013 45% 49% 4% -- 1%
May 3-6 2012 45% 48% 4% -- 3%
May 5-8, 2011 45% 48% 5% -- 2%
May 3-6, 2010 46% 46% 6% -- 2%
May 8-11, 2008 51% 44% 3% -- 1%
Subjects: 527 adults
Margin of Error: ± 5%
Source: Gallup Organization "In U.S., Support for Doctor-Assisted Suicide," May 27, 2015
* Information collected in previous surveys by the poll's publisher and supplied for comparison; exact date, subject number and margin of error are not indicated.

3. Angus Reid Public Opinion (Feb. 4-5, 2010)

"Do you think people who help a person to commit suicide should be prosecuted?"

Democrat Republican Independent Total
Yes 36% 45% 32% 37%
No 37% 23% 41% 34%
Not sure 27% 32% 27% 28%

"If a parent is found guilty of assisting a terminally ill son or daughter to die, what do you think should be the appropriate punishment?"

Democrat Republican Independent Total
A mandatory sentence of life imprisonment 7% 7% 4% 6%
A prison sentence at the discretion of a judge 20% 29% 18% 21%
A fine, but no time in prison 15% 10% 12% 12%
No penalty at all 35% 27% 39% 35%
Not sure 23% 27% 27% 26%

"There are many arguments for and against legalizing euthanasia. Do you agree or disagree with each one of the following arguments?"

Agree Disagree Not sure
Legalizing euthanasia would leave vulnerable people without sufficient legal protection 52% 32% 15%
Legalizing euthanasia would send the message that the lives of the sick or disabled are less valuable 44% 44% 12%
Legalizing euthanasia would establish clearer guidelines for doctors to deal with end-of-life decisions 60% 24% 16%
Legalizing euthanasia would give people who are suffering an opportunity to ease their pain 70% 19% 11%

"Next, we'd like to ask you some questions about euthanasia. Generally speaking, do you support or oppose legalizing euthanasia in the United States?"

Democrat Republican Independent Total
Strongly support 17% 9% 16% 14%
Moderately support 30% 21% 31% 28%
Moderately oppose 13% 12% 16% 14%
Strongly oppose 16% 39% 18% 23%
Not sure 24% 19% 18% 22%
Support - net 47% 30% 47% 42%
Oppose - net 29% 51% 34% 36%
Subjects: 1,001 adults
Margin of Error: ± 3.1%
Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion "Americans Split Over Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide," (78 KB) Feb. 10, 2010

4. Gallup Organization (June 6-11, 1947 - May 10-13, 2007)

"Moral acceptability of doctor-assisted suicide."

Morally acceptable Morally wrong Depends/ not an issue/ no opinion
May 10-13, 2007 Overall 49% 44% 7%
Partisan views Republicans (including "leaners") 39% 54% N/A
Democrats (including "leaners") 59% 36% N/A
Churchgoers' views Attend weekly 23% 71% N/A
Attend almost weekly/ monthly 45% 48% N/A
Seldom/ never attend 67% 24% N/A
May 8-11, 2006* 50% 41% 8%
May 2-5, 2005* 49% 46% 5%
May 2-4, 2004* 53% 41% 6%
May 5-7, 2003* 45% 49% 6%
May 6-9, 2002* 50% 44% 6%
May 10-14, 2001* 49% 40% 11%

"When a person has a disease that cannot be cured and is living in severe pain, do you think doctors should or should not be allowed by law to assist the patient to commit suicide if the patient requests it?"

Yes No
May 10-13, 2007 Overall 56% 38%
Partisan views Republicans (including "leaners") 49% 45%
Democrats (including "leaners") 62% 32%
Churchgoers' views Attend weekly 35% 62%
Attend almost weekly/ monthly 52% 39%
Seldom/ never attend 73% 21%
May 8-11, 2006* 64% 31%
May 2-5, 2005* 58% 39%
May 2-4, 2004* 65% 31%
May 19-21, 2003* 62% 36%
May 6-9, 2002* 62% 34%
May 10-14, 2001* 68% 27%
Mar. 12-14, 1999* 61% 35%
June 5-7, 1998* 59% 39%
June 23-24, 1997* 57% 35%
Jan. 3-5, 1997* 58% 37%
Jul. 26-28, 1996* 52% 42%

"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 requests it?"

Yes No
May 10-13, 2007 Overall 71% 27%
Partisan views Republicans (including "leaners") 64% 32%
Democrats (including "leaners") 77% 22%
Churchgoers' views Attend weekly 47% 51%
Attend almost weekly/ monthly 70% 27%
Seldom/ never attend 84% 14%
May 8-11, 2006* 69% 27%
May 2-5, 2005* 75% 24%
May 2-4, 2004* 69% 29%
May 19-21, 2003* 72% 25%
May 6-9, 2002* 72% 26%
May 10-14, 2001* 65% 31%
July 26-28, 1996* 69% 26%
Apr. 9-10, 1996* 75% 22%
Nov. 15-18, 1990* 65% 31%
July 6-9, 1973* 53% 40%
Jan. 8-13, 1950* 36% 54%
June 6-11, 1947* 37% 54%
Subjects: 1,003 adults
Margin of Error: ± 3%
Source: Gallup Organization "Public Divided Over Moral Acceptability of Doctor-assisted Suicide
," May 31, 2007
* Information collected in previous surveys by the poll's publisher and supplied for comparison; exact date, subject number and margin of error are not indicated.

5. CBS News/New York Times (June 1990 - Jan. 20-25, 2006)

"If a person has a disease that will ultimately destroy their mind or body and they want to take their own life, should a doctor be allowed to assist the person in taking their own life, or not?"

Should be allowed Should not be allowed Unsure
Jan. 20-25, 2006 56% 37% 7%
July 2005* 54% 39% 7%

"Should physician-assisted suicide be allowed?"

Yes No
Nov. 18-21, 2004* 46% 45%
Nov. 1998* 52% 37%
Dec. 1993* 58% 36%
Mar. 1991* 53% 39%
June 1990* 53% 42%
Subjects: 1,229 adults
Margin of Error: ± 3%
Source: CBS News New York Times Jan. 2006
* Information collected in previous surveys by the poll's publisher and supplied for comparison; exact date, subject number and margin of error are not indicated.

6. FOX News (Oct. 2005)

"Do you favor or oppose legalizing physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients?"

Favor Oppose Unsure
48% 39% 13%

"Do you think states should have the right to let doctors prescribe medications that would help mentally competent, terminally ill patients end their lives?"

Yes No Unsure
52% 37% 11%
Subjects: 900 registered voters
Margin of Error: ± 3%
Source: FOX News Oct. 2005

7. Pew Research Center (Mar. 2001 - July 2005)

"In some states, it's legal to stop medical treatment that is keeping a terminally ill patient alive, or never start the treatment in the first place, if that's what the patient wants. Do you approve or disapprove of laws that let PATIENTS decide about being kept alive through medical treatment?"

Approve Disapprove Unsure
84% 10% 6%

"In some states, it's legal for doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs that a terminally ill patient could use themselves to commit suicide. Do you approve or disapprove of laws that let doctors assist patients who want to end their lives this way?"

Approve Disapprove Unsure
46% 45% 9%

"Do you think a person has a moral right to end his or her own life under any of the following circumstances?"

Yes No Unsure
When this person has a disease that is incurable 53% 39% 8%
When this person is suffering great pain and has no hope of improvement 60% 34% 6%
When this person is an extremely heavy burden on his or her family 29% 62% 9%
When this person is ready to die because living has become a burden 33% 58% 9%

"Making it legal for doctors to give terminally ill patients the means to end their lives."

Net favor Strongly Favor Favor Net Oppose Strongly Oppose Oppose Don't know
July 2005* 51% 18% 33% 40% 16% 24% 9%
July 2003* 54% 18% 36% 39% 17% 22% 7%
Mar. 2001* 53% 19% 34% 40% 18% 22% 7%

"Making it legal for doctors to assist terminally ill patients in committing suicide."

Net favor Strongly Favor Favor Net Oppose Strongly Oppose Oppose Don't know
July 2005* 44% 12% 32% 48% 21% 27% 8%
July 2003* 43% 14% 29% 48% 24% 24% 8%
Margin of Error: ± 4%
Source: Pew Research Center July 2005
* Information collected in previous surveys by the poll's publisher and supplied for comparison; exact date, subject number and margin of error are not indicated.

8. Harris Interactive (1983 - Apr. 5-10, 2005)

"Do you think that the law should allow doctors to comply with the wishes of a dying patient in severe distress who asks to have his or her life ended, or not?"

Yes, should allow No, should not allow Not sure
Apr. 5-10, 2005 70% 29% 1%
Dec. 2001* 65% 29% 6%
1997* 68% 27% 4%
1993* 73% 24% 3%
1987* 62% 32% 4%
1983* 53% 34% 8%
Subjects: 1,010 adults
Margin of Error: ± 3%
Source: Harris Interactive Apr. 2005
* Information collected in previous surveys by the poll's publisher and supplied for comparison; exact date, subject number and margin of error are not indicated.

9. ABC News (Mar. 2002)

"Do you think it should be legal or illegal for doctors to help terminally ill patients commit suicide by giving them a prescription for fatal drugs?"

Legal Illegal No opinion
40% 48% 12%

"Imagine a law that would make it legal for doctors to help terminally ill patients commit suicide by giving them a prescription for fatal drugs. To be eligible, patients would have to be diagnosed as having less than six months to live, get a second opinion from another doctor, and ask for the drugs three times. And, there would be a 15-day waiting period before the prescription could be filled.

Under this system, do you think it should be legal or illegal for doctors to help terminally ill patients commit suicide by giving them a prescription for fatal drugs?"


Legal Illegal No opinion
46% 48% 6%
Subjects: 1,021 adults
Margin of Error: ± 3%
Source: ABC News Mar. 2002