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Poll: Americans Becoming More Opposed to Euthanasia, Worry About Elderly
A new national poll finds Americans are largely split on the idea of legalizing euthanasia, but the opposition to the practice is growing. The new survey from Angus Reid Public Opinion, a Canadian polling firm, contains a flawed polling question but the results are still somewhat useful.

Although three states — Oregon, Washington, and Montana — have allowed assisted suicide, Angus Reid uses the term "euthanasia" when asking Americans about it.

"Generally speaking, do you support or oppose legalizing euthanasia in the U.S.?" the February 4-5 poll of 1,001 Americans asked. The survey found 42 percent support euthanasia while 37 percent are opposed and 22 percent are unsure.

Breaking the polling results down further, 14 percent answered "Strongly Support," 28 percent "Moderately Support", 14 percent "Moderately Oppose," and 23 percent "Strongly Oppose." The poll found little partisan difference on the issue with 47 percent of Democrats supporting euthanasia while 51 percent of Republicans oppose it. Some 47 percent of independents backed legalized euthanasia.

Although a plurality supported the vague concept of euthanasia, the level of support is down from the August 2009 poll Angus Reid conducted. That survey found support for euthanasia at a 45-32 percent clip with 23 percent undecided.

Also, the poll asked a follow-up question asking if people felt legalizing euthanasia "would leave vulnerable people without sufficient protection."

Fifty-two percent agreed, 32 percent disagreed, 15 percent were unsure.  [20Feb10, DC,]