The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has been involved in conducting a comprehensive poll concerning euthanasia and assisted suicide. The poll involved 1,122 participants who are involved in an online survey company.

Dr. Will Johnston, president of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of B.C., expressed an interest in determining the effect on the Canadian public of the acquittal of Evelyn Martens.

“We were also concerned about the effect of the media promotion of assisted suicide in relation to Justice Minister Irwin Cotler’s comments on establishing a committee to investigate the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide,” he said. “We also wanted to accurately access the level of support and opposition to ‘mercy killing.’”

The poll produced some very interesting results:

77 per cent believe vulnerable Canadians may be euthanised without consent, even with safeguards in place.
75 per cent believe recent assisted suicide cases are not reason enough to change the current law.
69 per cent agree that the law should discourage suicide by restricting the promotion of devices and methods.
67 per cent agree that legalizing assisted suicide will increase the suicide rate.
54 per cent believe that guaranteeing pain control and good hospice care is a higher priority than legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide.
69 per cent are more concerned with protecting vulnerable Canadians than legalizing assisted suicide, with 16 per cent undecided.
45 per cent believe euthanasia should be legalized, with 39 per cent opposed and 16 per cent undecided.

The poll shows that Canadians are clearly divided on the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide. An online survey was used because it allowed for the posing of more questions and more options for the person being surveyed.