Utica, N.Y. -- March 2000 -- According to a Zogby poll, only one-in-three Americans, if stricken with a painful terminal disease, would prefer assisted suicide to letting nature take its course.
In the March poll of 1,031 nationwide, 30.4% of those surveyed would rather have a doctor put a merciful end to their suffering than wait for a natural death.
A much larger 63.5% would prefer to tough it out against the painful disease, and 6.1% were not quite sure what they would decide if put in this situation. Men and women were almost exactly similar in their choices.
Respondents aged 18-29 and over 65 were less likely to consider assisted suicide than were those aged 30-64. Blacks were far less likely than whites to choose euthanasia over a protracted death by terminal disease.
The Zogby poll asked:
"If you had a disease that was fatal, and was causing great pain and discomfort, which of the following courses of action would you prefer: Physician assisted suicide, wait and let nature take its course, or not sure?"