Thursday, 8 November 2012

What happens when people learn about euthanasia & assisted suicide

It Australia polling regularly says that plus 80% of Australians support the idea of euthanasia legislation. But these polls are only one question and, more than that, they really don't describe euthanasia or any of its legislative pitfalls. All we can really say from these polls is that plus 80% of Australians feel compassionately disposed to people who are suffering (so, I'm surprised it's not higher than that!).

In Massachusetts, as the article below confirms, polling only a little more than a month out said that the YES vote would win comfortably. Then came the public awareness campaign - and the rest, as they say, is history...

From the Sacramento Bee:

Opposition overcomes 48 point deficit to defeat assisted suicide - Ballot Question 2 in Massachusetts


/PRNewswire/ -- In a stunning upset, the voters of Massachusetts soundly defeated Ballot Question 2 on Election Day.  Dealing a significant setback to the expansion of the assisted suicide movement throughout the United States by Compassion & Choices (the organization formerly known as the Hemlock Society), a diverse coalition of disability rights organizations, medical associations, nurses' groups, community leaders and faith-based organizations united in this effort.
"Tonight was a huge victory for those of us in the disability rights community that have worked for so long against assisted suicide," noted John Kelly, Director of Second Thoughts – People with Disabilities Opposing Question 2.
"This vote confirms that Massachusetts voters saw through the rhetoric and outright misinformation put out by those supporting assisted suicide.  Opposition to assisted suicide cuts across all partisan and ideological groups because the more people learn about the issue, the more they have second thoughts. Assisted suicide doesn't expand choice, it limits choice – and that puts at risk anyone living with a disability, mental illness or serious illness."
A late September poll sponsored by the Boston Globe and conducted by the University of New Hampshire showed 68% of Massachusetts voters in favor with just 19% opposed. 
"The turnaround on this campaign was remarkable.  Generally, when you see support for a ballot question in the high sixties it should be a slam dunk.   We knew from the beginning this would be an uphill battle and that to be successful we had to stay disciplined in our message, highlighting the ballot question's significant problems and effectively communicate those to voters across Massachusetts.  This campaign certainly exceeded a lot of expectations," said Tim Rosales, campaign strategist for No On 2.
Massachusetts Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide No On 2 is a coalition of hospice workers, disability rights organizations, nurses and doctors across the Commonwealth. For more information go to www.NoOnQuestion2.org or Twitter.com/NoOnQuestion2MA. 
SOURCE Massachusetts Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide No On 2

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