Three fifths of Britons would support the legalisation of euthanasia
Funeral plan specialist, Perfect Choice, recently conducted research which has revealed that more than three fifths of Britons would support the legalisation of euthanasia in the UK. The majority of those who were opposed to the legalisation of euthanasia believed it was immoral, whilst others mentioned their religious beliefs. There was also a concern that there would be a lack of regulation. More than half of people asked believed that assisted suicide should remain a criminal act.
We polled 1,744 British adults during the study, all aged 18 or over, with an even gender split. We conducted the study to find out more about the British public’s attitudes towards loss and life choices.
First, we asked all participants whether they would support the legalisation of euthanasia in the UK, to which 62% stated that they would. Of this percentage we discovered that 64% of these respondents were female. Those who voiced support of euthanasia were then asked to provide details of the situations and circumstances for which they thought that euthanasia would be acceptable. All of those asked were able to select all answers they felt were applicable, which revealed the below top five:
1) Terminal illness – 57%
2) Degenerative illness – 46%
3) Debilitating illness – 32%
4) Following an accident – 25%
5) Chronic pain – 18%
When further questioned, it was revealed that almost two fifths (39%) of those in favour of legalising euthanasia had been personally affected by the topic, with a relative or friend who had wanted it or would have benefitted from it.
We then asked all those who weren’t in support of euthanasia, why they were against the idea. The majority (34%) said that they believed it was immoral, followed by 28% who cited religious beliefs for their opposition. A further 15% were concerned by the lack of regulation that could surround it. Finally, we wanted to gain a different perspective so we asked all respondents whether they believed assisted suicide should remain a criminal act. The majority (52%) believed it should, 26% said that it shouldn’t. The rest said that they believed it was subjective and depended entirely on the circumstances.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide is an extremely delicate matter and one that will continue to receive a lot of attention and debate. There are so many different points to consider from both sides, such as quality of life, pain management and the moral aspect of having the power to end someone’s life. When considering and debating the subject, it’s important to remember how delicate and personal the topic is.