Conscience Rights on Physician-Assisted Death Split Canadians

About two-in-five Canadians would allow health care professionals to object to providing abortion services.

Vancouver, BC [February 26, 2020] – While practically half of Canadians are not in favour of legislative action that would entrench conscience rights for health care workers, the country is evenly divided when assessing cases of physician-assisted death, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 44% of Canadians agree that health care professionals should have the ability to object to providing services if they have a moral or faith-based objection to physician-assisted death. A similar proportion of Canadians (42%) disagree with this stipulation.

Alberta—where public debate over Bill 207 intensified late last year—has the lowest proportion of residents who would agree to entrench conscience rights in cases of physician-assisted death (38%).

The level of support for a caveat for health care professionals on physician-assisted suicide cases is highest in British Columbia (48%), followed by Quebec (47%), Atlantic Canada (46%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (46%) and Ontario (41%).

When asked about conscience rights on two other instances, Canadians are not as divided. Practically half (49%) disagree with health care professionals objecting to provide services if they have a moral or faith-based objection to abortion, while 39% agree.

A majority of Canadians (58%) disagree with health care professionals objecting to provide services if they have a moral or faith-based objection to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse, queer and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2+) people, while 31% agree.

“Canadians who profess a religion are more likely to extend the ability for health care professionals to have moral or faith-based objections in cases of physician-assisted suicide (52%), abortion (46%) and serving LGBT people (37%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The level of support is considerably lower among Canadians who have no religious affiliation (28%, 24% and 18% respectively).”

Across the country, 49% of Canadians say that they would oppose a bill that sought to allow health care professionals the ability to have a moral or faith-based objection to providing services, while 39% would support this provincial legislation.

Opposition to this type of bill is highest in Alberta (59%), followed by Atlantic Canada (53%), British Columbia (51%), Ontario (49%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (45%) and Quebec (42%).  

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from February 14 to February 17, 2020, 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 +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full dataset 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

 

Canadians and Americans Agree on Vaccinations for Children

Majorities in both countries believe individuals should decide if they want to get immunized against seasonal diseases.

Vancouver, BC [February 14, 2020] – While four-in-five Canadians endorse the concept of mandatory inoculations for children, the proportion of Americans who feel the same way is smaller, a new two-country Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of representative national samples, 81% of Canadians—up three points since a similar study conducted in 2018—believe that vaccinations for children should “definitely” or “probably” be mandatory in their province.

The proportion of Americans who think immunizations for children should “definitely” or “probably” be mandatory in their state is lower (68%).

“More than one-in-four Americans (27%) believe decisions on childhood vaccinations should be made by parents,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion of Canadians who would follow this course of action is decidedly lower (12%).”

In Canada, Quebec has the highest proportion of residents (17%) who believe parents should choose whether their children should be vaccinated. In the United States, 30% of residents of the South and the West feel the same way.

When asked about inoculations and seasonal diseases (such as the flu), slim majorities of Canadians and Americans (51% in each country) believe each person should “definitely” or “probably” be allowed to decide whether they want to get vaccinated or not.

Just over two-in-five respondents in each country (44% in Canada and 43% in the United States) feel the flu vaccine should be mandatory for everybody in their province or state.

In the late 1990s, a study published in the weekly medical journal The Lancet—which has since been discredited and retracted—attempted to link childhood vaccination and autism.

In Canada, 26% of respondents to this survey think there is a connection between the childhood vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella and autism. The proportion of Americans who believe this is slightly higher, at 30%.

Respondents aged 18-to-34 in both countries (36% in Canada and 43% in the United States) are more likely to believe in the debunked connection between childhood immunization and autism than their older counterparts.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from February 7 to February 9, 2020, among 1,000 Canadian adults, and an online study conducted from February 6 to February 8, 2020, among 1,000 American adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian and U.S. census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points for each study, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full Canadian dataset here, our full American dataset here and download the press release here.

Photo Credit: John Keith

For more information on this poll, please contact:

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

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


Three-in-Four Canadians Back Temporary Ban on Vaping Products

A majority of residents would also support prohibiting flavoured vaping products.

Vancouver, BC [November 13, 2019] – A large proportion of Canadians support enacting a temporary prohibition on the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, three-in-four Canadians (74%) would agree with their province implementing a vaping ban similar to the one that was recently enacted in Massachusetts.

Support for a temporary ban on all vaping products is high across all regions of the country, from 71% in Alberta to 77% in Atlantic Canada.

On Sept. 24, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker decreed a temporary four-month ban on all vaping products in the American state, following cases of lung damage associated with the use of e-cigarettes.

Just over one-in-ten Canadians (11%) say they used an electronic cigarette in the past year. The proportion is higher among those aged 18-to-34 (17%) and British Columbians (16%).

More than four-in-five Canadians (85%, -6 since a Research Co. survey conducted in 2018) want vaping products that contain nicotine to display a warning, similar to the one used for tobacco products. 

In addition, 73% of Canadians (-3) call for the use of e-cigarettes to be restricted to areas where smoking is currently allowed, and a majority (57%) want all flavoured vaping products to be banned 

Half of Canadians (50%, unchanged) say they would not consider dating a person who used electronic cigarettes—including 54% of British Columbians.

Canadians aged 55 and over (57%) are more likely to say they would shun a dating prospect because of vaping. The proportion is lower among Canadians aged 35-to-54 and 18-to-34 (47% each).

“When it comes to vaping and dating, there is no gender gap across Canada,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Equal proportions of men and women say they wold not consider courting a vaper.”

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 21 to October 23, 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

Wait Times Are Biggest Health Care Issue for British Columbians

Almost three-in-five residents say there are some good things in the system, but some changes are required.

Vancouver, BC [September 6, 2019] – Most British Columbians have a positive view of the provincial health care system, but more than a third express worries about long waiting times, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 58% of British Columbians believe there are some good things in health care in the province, but some changes are required.

One-in-four British Columbians (26%) think the health care system in the province works well and only minor changes are needed to make it work better. 

A smaller proportion of residents (12%) believe health care in British Columbia has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it.

“Residents of Metro Vancouver and Southern BC are more likely to say that the provincial health care system requires only minor changes (27% each),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion is lower in Northern BC (22%), Vancouver Island (also 22%) and the Fraser Valley (18%).”

Almost two-in-five British Columbians (38%) identify long waiting times as the biggest problem facing the health care system in the province right now.

One-in-five residents (20%) say a shortage of doctors and nurses is the biggest issue, followed by inadequate resources and facilities (15%), and bureaucracy and poor management (10%).

Fewer British Columbians mention a lack of a wider range of services for patients (6%), vague legal rights of patients (4%), little focus on preventive care (3%) and insufficient standards of hygiene (1%).

Across the province, 45% of British Columbians say they would be willing to pay out of their own pocket to have quicker access to medical services that currently have long waiting times—a proportion that includes 56% of those in the highest income bracket.

More than a third of British Columbians (37%) say they would be willing to travel to another country to have quicker access to medical services that currently have long waiting times.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from August 28 to August 30, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

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