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Patients more likely to approve of medical aid-in-dying than doctors, survey finds

December 13, 2018 / Joanne Finnegan

The majority of physicians now support medical aid-in-dying for the terminally ill, but their patients are still far more likely to approve of the practice. Despite ethical concerns, a new survey from Medscape of 5,200 physicians surveyed across 29 specialties found 58% agree that physician-assisted suicide or physician-assisted dying should be legalized for terminally ill patients. (Proponents now prefer to use the term medical aid-in-dying rather than suicide.) That’s up 12 percentage points from 2010 when 46% of doctors said it should be legal for doctors to prescribe drugs to help terminally-ill patients end their lives. However, it’s still a lot lower than the 72% of the general public who support medical aid-in-dying, according to a 2018 Gallup poll. That number dropped to 65% when the question asked was whether doctors should help patients “commit suicide.”