Legislative Session
6:20 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Poll Shows Support for Bill to Aid Suicide for Terminally Ill

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A new poll shows Connecticut voters strongly support legislation allowing doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients.

Quinnipiac University conducted the poll. Sixty-one percent of those polled supported the measure.

Douglas Schwartz, the poll's director, said, "I think people want to have to control over the life and death decision." Voters were divided, though, on whether they would actually ask a doctor to help them end their lives.

Of those polled, 39 percent said they'd never ask their doctor, while 33 percent said they would ask if they were terminally ill. Another 12 percent said they would ask a doctor if they were both terminally ill and in pain.

Opponents of the legislation criticized the poll, saying it was flawed because the phrase "assisted suicide" was not used. But advocates maintain support is growing for the concept.

Schwartz said the polling data are clear. "There is broad support for assisted dying here in Connecticut," he said. "About two-to-one, Connecticut voters support that and it crosses party, gender, and age lines."

A legislative committee has until March 28 to schedule a public hearing on the bill.