A new poll of 2500 Canadian citizens—the largest poll to date—shows resounding support for assisted dying in the country. Conducted by Canadian nonprofit Dying With Dignity, the poll found 84% of Canadians in favor of legalizing doctor-assisted dying.
As is often the case on the topic of assisted dying, the influence of religious belief and practice provided for some significant differences among respondents:
• The largest divergence in support was by degree of church attendance. Those who attend church most frequently are least likely to support assisted dying. While even those who attend church once a week or more are still in support overall, the size of that majority (58%) is smaller than for those who go less frequently (86%) or never (92%).
Those who never attend a church were most in support of legalizing assisted dying, with 92% supporting it. Overall though, even the Christian majority in Canada are strongly in support of assisted dying:
• There were high levels of support from both the religious and non-religious. In total 80% of all Christians support assisted dying, including 83% of Catholics support assisted dying. (Sample sizes for other religious affiliations, though reflective of the Canadian population, were too small to draw conclusions.)
Interestingly, church attendance also changes how respondents perceive support for assisted dying across Canadian society:
• Those who attend church more than once a week are much more likely to think most Canadians oppose assisted dying (35%) than those who never do (16%).