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Country Split on Support for Assisted Suicides

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Doctor-assisted suicide remains a divisive issue in the U.S., according to Pew Research Center survey conducted last spring.

Of 2,000 adult respondents, 49 percent said they opposed physicians helping terminally ill patients to take their lives while 47 percent approved of the practice.

Sixty-one percent of white mainline Protestants support doctor-assisted suicide along with 55 percent of Catholics and 66 percent of adults with no religious affiliation.

Those opposed to doctor-assisted suicide by a two-to-one margin include white evangelical Protestants,  black Protestants and Hispanic Catholics.

As for those who want to be kept alive under various circumstances:

  • 35 percent said that doctors should do everything possible to keep someone alive even if there was no hope for improvement and they were in constant suffering.
  • 37 percent want everything done if they are completely dependent on others for care.
  • 46 percent want everything done if day-to-day activities become difficult.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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