British Columbians Agree with Physician-Assisted Suicide Rules

Fewer than one-in-five of the province’s residents would completely ban medical assistance in dying.

Vancouver, BC [November 15, 2019] – Most British Columbians are in favour of allowing physician-assisted suicide under the guidelines implemented by the federal government, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, three-in-four British Columbians (75%) support allowing a person to seek medical assistance to die in Canada under the conditions authorized in June 2016.

In Canada, federal legislation allows physician-assisted suicide if five conditions are met:

  • Being eligible for health services funded by the federal government, or a province or territory (or during the applicable minimum period of residence or waiting period for eligibility).
  • Being at least 18 years old and mentally competent.
  • Having a grievous and irremediable medical condition.
  • Making a voluntary request for medical assistance in dying that is not the result of outside pressure or influence.
  • Giving informed consent to receive medical assistance in dying.

“The highest level of opposition to allowing physician-assisted suicide in British Columbia is observed in the Fraser Valley (32%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Conversely, Metro Vancouver holds the highest level of support (78%).”

When asked about their personal feeling about medical assistance in dying, almost three-in-five British Columbians (58%) think it should be allowed, but only under specific circumstances.

Fewer than one-in-five British Columbians (18%) think physician-assisted suicide should never be allowed, regardless of who requests it, while 12% believe it should always be permitted.

Just under half of British Columbians (47%) say they are satisfied with the regulations that are currently in place in Canada to deal with the issue of physician-assisted suicide. One-in-four residents of the province (25%) are dissatisfied and a similar proportion (28%) are undecided.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 4 to November 6, 2019, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca