Support for the End of Life Choice Act is at a record low, according to a nationwide poll conducted on Monday.
In less than a week, support for the Act has dropped from 60% to 55% and opposition has increased from 25% to 34%. About 11% are still unsure how they would vote.
“An increasing number of people supports the idea of euthanasia or assisted dying, but is voting ‘no’ to this specific Act,” says Renée Joubert, Executive Officer of Euthanasia-Free NZ.
Supporters are twice as likely than opponents to be uninformed about the Act’s details.
Interestingly, 62% of people who had already voted ‘yes’ think that the End of Life Choice Act is about turning off machines that are keeping people alive – even though this choice is already legal. Of people who had already voted ‘no’, 30% shares this misunderstanding.
67% of people who had already voted ‘yes’ mistakenly think that the Act requires two witnesses when someone signs their request in front of a doctor – compared to 29% of people who had already voted ‘no’. It’s a reasonable assumption, since the assisted dying laws in the US, Canada and Australia require this safeguard.
Half of ‘yes’ voters are unaware that the Act makes euthanasia available to eligible terminally ill people, even if they don’t have any physical pain. Among ‘no’ voters, 29% are unaware of this fact.
Euthanasia-Free NZ encourages all voters to check whether their assumptions about the Act are in fact correct.
This poll was conducted by Curia Market Research and has a maximum sampling error of ±4.8% for a result of 50% at the 95% confidence level.