Canadians' Views on Euthanasia

A large majority of Canadians -- three in four -- support the concept of terminally ill people having the "right to die", echoing the level of support measured in a 1993 Angus Reid survey.

This finding emerged from a National Angus Reid Poll conducted among a representative cross-section of 1,515 Canadian adults between October 23rd and 28th, 1997.

Below are the highlights of the survey:

  • Three-quarters (76%) of surveyed Canadians said they support the "right to die" for people who wish to end their own lives rather than enduring the full course of a terminal illness, versus 21 percent who voiced opposition to this idea. This level of support is identical to that measured in a March 1993 sounding on this same question. (Table 1)
  • Support for euthanasia for the terminally ill is widespread among Canadians from all walks of life. Regionally, the level of support ranges from the two-thirds mark in Manitoba/Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada (68% and 65% respectively) to fully eight in ten residents of Quebec and British Columbia (84% and 82%).
  • From a generational perspective, support for the "right to die" for the terminally ill declines with age: while fully eight in ten (81%) respondents under 35 expressed support, this number decreased among those 55 and older (69%, though still a solid majority).

This National Angus Reid Poll was conducted by telephone between October 23rd and 28th, 1997 among a representative cross-section of 1,515 Canadian adults.

These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 1991 and 1996 Census data.

With a national sample of 1,515, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results are within ±2.5 percentage points of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker
Executive Vice-President
Angus Reid Group
(613) 241-5802

John Wright
Senior Vice-President
Angus Reid Group
(416) 324-2900

Christian Bourque
Directeur de recherche Affaires
Groupe Angus Reid
(514) 877-5550

More insights about Health