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STRONG SUPPORT FOR CANDIDATES WHO OPPOSE ASSISTED SUICIDE AND EUTHANASIA, STRONG OPPOSITION TO USE OF FEDERALLY CONTROLLED DRUGS TO ASSIST SUICIDES.

Based on years of experience, pro-lifers know that support for abortion is both far narrower and much softer than what we've been led to believe. But what about euthanasia?

A recent nationwide poll shows that there is strong support for candidates who oppose assisted suicide and euthanasia and equally strong opposition to the use of federally regulated drugs to assist people to kill themselves.

The respected public opinion firm of Wirthlin Worldwide probed the public's views on these hot-button issues in a poll of 1,001 adults conducted from May 19 through May 23.

People were asked,

Generally speaking, how important will a candidate's position on the issues of assisted suicide and euthanasia be in determining whether or not you will vote for that candidate?

Nearly two-thirds (64%) said it was either "very important" (31%) or "somewhat important" (33%) in determining their vote. Contrary to conventional wisdom, those questioned were firmly in the anti-euthanasia, anti-assisted suicide camp.

By more than a 2-1 margin (65% to 32%), respondents said they were more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes assisted suicide/euthanasia than one who favors assisted suicide/euthanasia.

Often, however, intensity (depth) is as important as breadth. Here, too, the pro-life cause fared well.

Of the 31% subset who said that a candidate's position was "very important" in determining their vote, more than four out of five favored opponents of assisted suicide and euthanasia. Exactly 81% of this group told Wirthlin Worldwide that they were more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes assisted suicide/euthanasia as compared to only 18% who said they were more likely to vote for a candidate who favors assisted suicide/euthanasia - - a margin of more than 4-1.

Interestingly, there was a negligible percentage who said either that it "Depends on the candidate" or "Don't know/refused to answer."

Another question in the May survey asked about a real-life application of these sentiments. The Pain Relief Promotion Act would stop the use of federally controlled drugs for assisted suicide and euthanasia at the same time the act funds positive alternatives, such as teaching physicians how to better manage their patients' pain. The United States Senate will soon vote on the act, which passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly last year. (See page 1).

Those polled by Wirthlin Worldwide were asked,

As you may or may not know, the use of narcotics and other dangerous drugs is generally prohibited by federal law except when a doctor prescribes them for a "legitimate medical purpose."

Should the federal law allow use of these federally controlled drugs for the purpose of assisted suicide and euthanasia?

By a margin of well over two to one (66% to 29%) people said federal law should not allow these drugs to be used for assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Taken in tandem, the results of the two questions show overwhelming opposition to the use of federally controlled drugs to assist in killing patients--which is currently allowed only in Oregon--and equally large electoral support for political candidates who oppose assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Burke Balch, J.D., told NRL News, "This poll provides dramatic evidence that those voters who care most deeply about assisting suicide and euthanasia will overwhelmingly support candidates who vote to stop the government from facilitating the killing of patients with federally controlled drugs."

Added Balch, who is director of the National Right to Life Committee's Department of Medical Ethics, "The Senate must move promptly to enact the Pain Relief Promotion Act, whose objectives have 2-1 public support.">EN
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Author:Andrusko, Dave
Publication:National Right to Life News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2000
Words:589
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