Majority of Churchgoers Favor Legalizing Euthanasia
Nationwide support has nearly doubled since polling began
A majority of churchgoing Americans support legalizing euthanasia, a new Gallup poll shows.
Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of all U.S. adults say a doctor should be able to end the life of a terminally ill patient if the patient and family members request it. Fifty-five percent of those who attend church weekly agree with that stance, along with 66 percent of those attending church nearly weekly or monthly. Almost 9 in 10 (87 percent) of those who never attend church are in favor of legalizing euthanasia.
Americans are less certain about the morality of the act, with 57 percent of all U.S. adults saying euthanasia is morally acceptable, and 37 percent saying it is morally wrong.
Nevertheless, nationwide support for legalizing euthanasia has nearly doubled since Gallup first started asking the question in 1947. That year, just 37 percent said euthanasia should be legal. The percentage topped 50 percent in 1973, the same year the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion.
“Americans’ views on euthanasia have evolved, generally becoming more liberal, and could shift further as states continue to debate a suffering patient’s right to die,” the Gallup report concludes. “For the time being, more than two-thirds of national adults continue to support euthanasia — with majorities in favor even among the least supportive groups, such as weekly churchgoers.”
Many churches and denominations, including the Assemblies of God, object to euthanasia.“We can find no scriptural support for euthanasia,” an AG position paper says. “The intentional killing of human life by deliberate act or omission runs contrary to a belief that human life is sacred because it has been created and given by God himself.”