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New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Assisted Dying

New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Assisted Dying

Three-quarters of New Zealand voters support a law change to allow the terminally ill and people with irreversible unbearable suffering to be helped to end their lives peacefully, according to a new poll released today.

The Horizon poll was conducted nationwide last month (May 16-23) among 1,274 people aged 18 and over. The results were weighted to represent the New Zealand adult population at the most recent census.

Support for medical assistance to die for those suffering from end-stage terminal illness and irreversible unbearable suffering was 75% overall, with only 11% opposed.

The sample of people polled was also measured by the party vote they exercised in the 2014 election. Strongest support for a law change for those suffering end stage terminal illness came from National voters (83%) and Labour voters (82%), with 77% of Green voters, 69 % of NZFirst voters, 66% of Maori Party voters and 71% of ACT voters.

There is also majority support across all age groups with the largest support (82%) coming from 65-74 year olds, with 8 % opposed.

Polling of another possible policy option found overall support was also very strong for medical assistance to die for people who had irreversible conditions, such as motor neurone disease, which may not cause death in the immediate future, with 66% in favour and 15% opposed or strongly opposed.

“MPs need to consider these results as they listen to their constituents, in the lead-up to the September General Election,” said Maryan Street, President of the End-of-Life Choice Society.

“Not only does this poll show increased support for end of life choice since the last time it was conducted on my own bill in 2012, when 63% were in favour, it shows how small the opposition is by comparison. This is a testament to the compassion of New Zealanders,” she said.

Summary results follow and the full report is attached.


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