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The graph below shows the results of large scale statistical surveys on the topic carried out for us by NOP National Opinion Polls. We asked: "Some people say that the law should allow adults to receive medical help to an immediate peaceful death if they suffer from an incurable physical illness that is intolerable to them, provided they have previously requested such help in writing.
Please tell me whether you agree or disagree with this? The poll showed that sex, age, region or economic class made little difference to people's views on this subject.
And, the majority of people from all religious groups were in favour of voluntary euthanasia. In , Britain's largest social research institute carried out an independent survey into the social attitudes of British people. They also support making such help legal.
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Those people who do not agree with their findings often criticise the wording of these polls. It is thought an aging population has meant that an increasing number of doctors are taking private decisions to aid the early demise of terminally ill patients, usually by increasing drug doses.
Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society VES , said there was urgent need to clarify regulations governing assisted dying. It shows the need to make the patient the decision-maker. A survey by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society this month found that 47 per cent of people said they were prepared to help a loved one to die, even if it meant breaking the law.
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A spokeswoman for the ProLife party said: "Surely the response of a compassionate society is to alleviate the pain, to love and comfort the patient, and to try and restore a sense of self-worth until death comes naturally.
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