Thursday, November 1, 2012

Support plunges for assisted suicide question

By Laura Krantz

Support has plummeted for a ballot question to legalize assisted suicide, a poll released Tuesday shows.
Support for the Death with Dignity measure waned from 64 percent to 47 percent since a similar poll was released last month.

Fourty-one percent of voters oppose it, according to the Suffolk University/7News poll, giving the question only a six-point lead compared to the 37 point advantage it had six weeks ago.

The poll surveyed 600 likely voters using live telephone interviews of landline and cell phone users and reported a 4 percent margin of error.

The Roman Catholic Church is among the most outspoken opponents of Question 2, which would allow doctors to prescribe lethal medicine to dying patients.

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley last week urged parishioners to vote against the measure in a special homily that was broadcast to all parishes in the archdiocese.

"Laws must not be born out of emotions. Laws need to reflect the moral law, the common good and the protection of the most vulnerable," O'Malley said in the talk.

In an appeal to non-religious voters, O'Malley also said the law is bad policy. He said terminal diagnoses are often wrong.

Meanwhile, advocates of Question 2 say it will allow suffering patients to die peacefully. Dignity 2012 has received much out-of-state money from groups on the west coast, where assisted suicide is already legal.

But fueled by money from Roman Catholic groups across the country, the anti-Question 2 committee so far has raised about $2 million, four times as much as Dignity 2012.

(Laura Krantz can be reached at 508-626-4429 or

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