Assisted Dying Wins Support Even From Evangelical Christians


Nearly seven out of 10 Americans agree that it is morally acceptable for a person to ask for a physician's help in taking his or her own life.

Seven out of 10 also agree that doctors should be allowed to help people in ending their lives.

The surprisingly high support for assisted dying is revealed in new research from the Nashville-based evangelical Christian research company LifeWay.

Young white Americans were more likely to support assisted dying when a person is facing a painful terminal

Evangelicals were less likely to support it than non-evangelicals. Also, those who attended a religious service once a month or more were less likely to agree with assisted dying.

Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, told Baptist Press: "Many believe that asking for help in dying is a moral option. They don't believe that suffering until they die of natural causes is the only way out.

"Traditional Christian teaching says God holds the keys to life and death. Those who go to church or hold more traditional beliefs are less likely to see assisted suicide as morally acceptable. Still, a surprising number do."

Physician-assisted dying, or "aid in dying", is legal in six states in the US: Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, Montana and Colorado. In most of these states, the law is careful to differentiate between assisted dying, which is legal, and enthanasia, which is not.