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Poll: Most British would allow euthanasia

Nov. 15, 2010 at 4:29 PM

LONDON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Two-thirds of Britons endorse legalizing euthanasia, and most say those who help others commit suicide should not be prosecuted, a survey issued Monday found.

Angus Reid Public Opinion said 67 percent of respondents favor permitting euthanasia in the United Kingdom, while 19 percent are opposed. Furthermore, 58 percent oppose prosecution of enablers.

Large majorities of respondents believe legalizing euthanasia would give people suffering an opportunity to ease their pain (83 percent) and set clearer end-of-life guidelines for doctors (77 percent).

On the other side, 30 percent believe legalization would send the message that the lives of the sick or disabled are less valuable.

Britons are evenly split, 43 to 42 percent, on whether allowing euthanasia would leave vulnerable people without enough legal protection.

Asked the appropriate punishment for a parent who helps a terminally ill son or daughter die, 55 percent said there should be none.

The online survey of 2,015 British adults was conducted Oct. 27-28 with a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.

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