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A new Gallup poll finds that most Americans continue to support euthanasia when asked whether they believe physicians should be able to legally end a patient's life by some painless means. The death of legendary radio host Casey Kasem raised the question recently.
His children and his wife fought in court over what to do in the final stages of Kasem's battle with a form of dementia.
Ultimately, a judge granted his daughter the authority to have doctors remove his infusions of water, food, and medicine.
When Gallup began asking the euthanasia question in 1947, only 37% of Americans supported the idea. Today... 69% of Americans support the idea. But only 58% support the practice if the term "assisted suicide" is used in the question.
Four states -- Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont -- have legalized physician-assisted suicide, with the most recent being Vermont last year.
Should doctors be allowed to end a terminally ill patient's life painlessly if the family requests it?