Legislative proposals to allow doctors to prescribe fatal prescriptions to people diagnosed with a terminal illness are not seen as a good option by Connecticut adults according to a new Knights of Columbus-Marist poll.
By five points (50 percent to 45 percent), Connecticut residents believe doctors should only be allowed to remove medical interventions or manage the patient’s illness, as opposed to administering or prescribing a fatal drug dose.
Majorities also harbor deep concerns about the provisions, dangers and consequences of such legislation, according to the poll.
Only one in 10 respondents (10 percent) say they would definitely ask a doctor to help end their lives with lethal drugs if they were terminally ill. By contrast, almost two-thirds (64 percent) would definitely not or probably not seek assisted suicide.
“The people of Connecticut are deeply concerned about the possible tragic consequences of this legislation, and want doctors to heal and relieve pain rather than to be agents of death,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson. “Legislation along these lines would sow distrust in the doctor-patient relationship. The most vulnerable – those with an incorrect diagnosis, as well as the mentally ill and depressed, and those with lower quality health insurance – would be particularly at risk.”
Anderson added: “There are many issues that are actually pressing matters for Connecticut, this is not one of them.”
Most Connecticut residents have heard little or nothing about this proposal (63 percent) including 56% who express support for the pending legislation. Additionally, nearly two-thirds worry that those without better health insurance could have fewer end-of-life options (64 percent), with a similar percentage (63 percent) concerned that patients who suffer from depression will be more likely to want to take their own lives.