QUEBEC, December 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Widespread support in Quebec for Bill 52, legislation proposing to legalize “medical aid in dying,” drops sharply when Quebecers are told of the dire consequences similar statutes have brought in other countries, a new poll has found.
In the poll, conducted by Abingdon Research from October 24-26, respondents first gave their initial impressions of the legislation and then gave their final impression after being asked their opinion of various scenarios that have come up with similar legislation.
Scenarios included doctors killing elderly or disabled people without their consent, doctors helping suicidal teens carry out their deaths, or abusive family members pressuring the elderly to seek “medical aid in dying.”
Initially, 72% of respondents supported legalizing “medical aid in dying.” But after going through the survey that figured dropped to 35%.
Before going through the scenarios, 9% strongly opposed the bill and 8% moderately opposed it. Afterwards, 14% said “medical aid in dying” should not be legalized, and 47% said the notion of “medical aid in dying” needs more study.
Bill 52 will allow doctors under certain circumstances to administer a lethal injection to patients with an incurable serious illness who request it. The National Assembly approved the bill in principle on October 29th in a vote of 84 to 26, and it is currently before the Health and Social Services Committee.
In advancing the bill, the government has appealed to the wide support for it among Quebecers.
But LifeCanada, the national pro-life educational group that commissioned the poll, said the results shows that support for Bill 52 is “a mile wide but a foot deep.”
“The poll demonstrates that Quebecers by no means support this legislation in the unreserved way that has been suggested,” said Natalie Sonnen, LifeCanada’s executive director, in a press release. “Belgium’s law, a model for Bill 52, has been shown to be deeply flawed and dangerous,” she continued. “Once lethal injections become part of medical practice, abuse becomes rampant, as studies have shown that over a third of euthanasia deaths happening in Belgium are without patient consent.”
“When Quebecers consider the real possibility for abuse, they get cold feet about ‘medical aid in dying,’” she added.
Abingdon Research polled 500 Quebec citizens. The margin of error is 4.4%, nineteen times out of twenty.
The full poll results are available at LifeCanada.org.