Survey finds support among Canadians for broader assisted-dying law

Survey finds support among Canadians for broader assisted-dying law

The survey was conducted Jan. 17 to 21 among 1,552 Canadians eligible to vote

As the federal government moves to revise the law on assisted dying, new survey results suggest most Canadians support medical help to end suffering even when a natural death is some time away.

In a web survey conducted this month for The Canadian Press, polling firm Leger found 86 per cent of respondents agreed that people with a serious, degenerative and incurable disease should be able to request and obtain medical assistance in dying.

Seventy-four per cent of those who took part said medical assistance in dying should be accessible to all people with incurable diseases, even if their death is not fast approaching.

Agreement with this notion of a broader assisted-dying regime ranged from 66 per cent in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to 84 per cent in Quebec.

There was also little variation among people who identified as supporters of the three main federal parties.

The results come as the Trudeau government works to comply with a Superior Court of Quebec ruling that concluded it is unconstitutional to allow only Canadians who are already near death to seek medical help to end their lives.

“Based on these numbers, it’s all green lights for the federal government to move ahead,” said Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque.

The survey was conducted Jan. 17 to 21 among 1,552 Canadians eligible to vote who were randomly recruited from an online panel. Since polls created from Internet panels are not random samples, however, the survey can’t be assigned a margin of error.

The polling firm says that using data from the 2016 census, results were weighted according to age, gender, mother tongue, region and level of education in order to ensure a representative sample of the population.

READ MORE: Feds launch consultation on who’s allowed to seek medically assisted death

The Quebec court gave the government until March 11 to amend the current law, which took effect four years ago following a landmark Supreme Court of Canada ruling that struck down the previous prohibition on doctor-assisted death.

The government is seeking views through an online questionnaire, closing Jan. 27, on how the law should be changed.

Justice Minister David Lametti, Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Carla Qualtrough, the minister for disability inclusion, are also consulting key voices at roundtables and other meetings.

The Leger poll yielded some views on questions the government has asked Canadians to ponder.

For instance, 74 per cent of respondents said people should be allowed to express an advance wish for medical assistance in dying if one day they should be diagnosed with a serious, degenerative and incurable disease.

Seventy-three per cent agreed with the option of making an advance request for help ending their lives, using an official application form, as soon as a person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and is still lucid.

Just under half of respondents said the current 10-day period of reflection between requesting and receiving a medically assisted death should be increased.

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Nechako Centre building was a retail space built in 1955. The building is now vacant and is listed for sale for $4.4Million. Sitting on 0.72 acres, the building is currently under a redevelopment/revitalization process. (Jacob Lubberts Photo)
Nechako Centre teardown in Kitimat for sale at $4.4 million

B.C. assessments valued the property at $843,000 with a land value of only $492,000

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Raising more than $1,300 for the KVHS’s dementia home project, Dennis and Brenda Horwood leave Kitimat with a bang and start their new retirement journey together. (Photo supplied)
KVHS thanks local Kitimat couple for their contributions to the dementia home project

Dennis and Brenda Horwood raise $1,360 during a retirement garage sale

No increase in fees will be made by the leisure services department in the summer months. Reviews will be made again in May/June for any recommended fee adjustments in the fall. (District of Kitimat photo)
District of Kitimat halt leisure fee increases until the fall

The Leisure Services Advisory Commission recommended no increase take place at this time

Mount Elizabeth Theatre have been approved for a provision of funding by city council for up to $42,000. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Kitimat’s multi-use theatre grant request approved for live streaming equipment

A funding commitment of up to $42,000 was granted from council to the Mount Elizabeth Theatre

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

(Bandstra Transportation photo)
Smithers family-owned business institution sold to publicly-traded company

Bandstra Transportation and Babine Trucking acquired by Mullen Group

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Most Read