Intended for healthcare professionals


Public supports euthanasia for most desperate cases

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 07 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1423

Almost nine out of 10 people favour euthanasia in the most desperate cases, according to the recent British social attitudes survey.

But the survey, carried out by Social and Community Planning Research, highlights the fact that people's responses vary according to the individual circumstances of the case. Complex judgments tend to be made about a patient's chance of recovery, pain levels, and quality of life. Very few people, for example, agreed with euthanasia if the person is simply lonely and tired of life.

The survey was based on interviews with …

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