Americans Find Suicide Wrong—But Split on Assisted Suicide

Money in syringe close-up

The results of a poll released by Gallup on May 31, 2011 paints a startling picture of American morality. Gallup’s 2011 Values and Beliefs poll gauged the moral acceptability of 17 different issues, with the closest divide over doctor-assisted suicide.

While an overwhelming majority (80%) found suicide “morally wrong,” only 48% felt the same way about doctor-assisted suicide, with 45% believing the practice to be “morally acceptable.” The practice of doctor-assisted suicide is usually portrayed by its supporters and the media as some kind of benevolent and merciful way to ease the pain of the elderly or infirmed. Some states in America have legalized the practice, and even allow taxpayer funding to go towards legally murdering their own citizens.

Gallup’s findings show an obvious contradiction on the issue of suicide among Americans – one that exists even at the governmental level. Human Life International’s Joseph Meaney recently spoke to Vatican Radio about the state of Oregon’s adjustment of its suicide laws after a young man who was depressed killed himself using a suicide kit he purchased on the Internet.

“It does show the contradiction within the frame of mind of the Oregon senate, they are against suicide for some people, and they are in favour of suicide for others,” said Meaney, who is Director of International Coordination for HLI.

The Gallup poll also suggests that the majority of Americans find promiscuous sex morally acceptable, but still have reverence for monogamous marriages. A majority all thought having a baby outside of marriage (54%), gay or lesbian relations (56%), and sex between an unmarried man and woman (60%) were all morally acceptable. Married men and women having an affair was found to be the most morally wrong issue with 91% of Americans opposing marital infidelity.

A slight majority (51%) of Americans found abortion morally wrong. Abortion is the most divisive of the three most controversial issues (doctor-assisted suicide, abortion, and out-of-wedlock births) among political partisans with a 37-point Republican-Democratic gap. While most Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures across America have been fighting to keep taxpayer funds from going to Planned Parenthood, one of the largest abortion providers in the world, Democrats have opposed defunding efforts.

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