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Most Americans Agree With Right-to-Die Movement

Already-strong public support for right-to-die legislation has grown even stronger in the days since the planned death of 29-year-old brain cancer patient Brittany Maynard, a new Health Day/Harris Poll has found. An overwhelming 74 percent of American adults now believe that terminally ill patients who are in great pain should have the right to end their lives, the poll found. Only 14 percent were opposed. Broad majorities also favor physician aid-in-dying. Only three states — Oregon, Washington, and Vermont — currently have right-to-die laws that allow physician-aided dying. “Public opinion on these issues seems to be far ahead of political leadership and legislative actions,” said Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll. “Only a few states have legalized physician-assisted suicide and none have legalized physician-administered euthanasia.” People responded to the poll in the weeks after Maynard took medication to end her life in early November. Maynard moved from California to Oregon following her diagnosis with late-stage brain cancer so she could take advantage of the state’s “Death With Dignity Act.” Her story went viral online, with a video explaining her choice garnering nearly 11.5 million views on YouTube. A “poster child for the movement,” Maynard helped spark conversations that allowed people to put themselves in her shoes.

Source/more: Health Day

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