Euthanasia Poll – St James Ethics Centre

The St James Ethics Centre is running a poll on voluntary euthanasia.

The question is simple. Should euthanasia be legalised?

It would have been nice if they’d added the all important word ‘voluntary’ – but we know what they mean.

I’m told by an observant reader (thanks Julia!) that the Australian Christian Lobby is pimping this poll on their website. This may explain the overwhelmingly negative response so far.  Yet, we know that well over 80 per cent of Australians support law reform to allow voluntary euthanasia.  With your help we can get this poll to reflect the reality of public opinion.

Would you please share this link among your own networks?

St James Ethics Centre – Euthanasia Poll

And here’s the ‘blurb’ from their website.  Apparently, voluntary euthanasia will be the subject of the next IQ2 debate to be held in Melbourne on 7 November.

“Death is the most personal of matters, but it’s also a political hot potato. Most of us don’t choose (or even expect) the way in which we die, but for the terminally ill, death is a looming certainty to be dealt with. And as humans live longer – largely thanks to the interventions of modern medicine – we’re more likely to die of serious illness, and to have our deaths medically postponed. There has long been a call for governments to grant us the right to choose our own death, by legalising euthanasia. But what are the circumstances in which this right should be granted? Who gets to decide – and when? And then there’s the sobering knowledge that this is one life decision that can’t be reversed. From medicos to philosophers, politicians to law enforcers, the terminally ill to their loved ones, this one issue we all have an opinion on – and a possible stake in. ‘Euthanasia should be legalised’ is the subject of the next IQ2 debate in Melbourne on 7 November.”

Chrys Stevenson

7 thoughts on “Euthanasia Poll – St James Ethics Centre

  1. Ian Wood

    Hi Chrys I would not waste my time and energy advising members of Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia about voting in an online poll. Here is the comment I have just posted on the St James Ethics Centre site. An Ethics Center running an online poll! That is a contradiction in terms. It is a foregone conclusion that this poll will be manipulated. Here are some examples of how this is done. Dear Friends, Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to get involved in the two online polls yesterday – both won hands down! When I first sent out the message about the advertiser poll the NO vote was at an abysmal 16%. Just a moment ago the No vote was at nearly 74%. Alex Schadenberg from Canada thanks you all for your support with his poll and, likewise, we need to thank our Canadian friends for their votes. This really proves the power of networking. I encourage you all to ask all your friends to register on the HOPE website so we can keep building the opposition and the network. This is so important for the long haul. AND “Esme Benet Posted at 5:19 PM Today Should euthanasia be legalised in SA? This poll sucks. I’ve just managed to cast 10 votes. Comment 92 of 103” AND The BMJ invited its readers to respond to the editorial by voting for or against neutrality. Astonishingly, over 80 per cent of those who voted were against neutrality – the opposite of what had been found in the scientific poll. This surprising result prompted an analysis of voting patterns. In a two-day period, there was a huge surge in votes. During this time, there were many anomalies, the most striking being one individual, apparently located in Iceland, who voted against neutrality 168 times. One could not have clearer evidence of how the debate against assisted dying is being hijacked. This is a rerun of what happened in 2006 when Lord Joffe’s Bill for legalising assisted dying was being debated in the House of Lords. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition – an international body based in Canada – flooded two polls of British public opinion, one run by Bath University and one by the Evening Standard, with “No” votes from Canada and USA. Posted: 1 November 2012 – 9:50pm – Ian Wood _____

    1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

      Hi Ian

      I agree, such polls are unscientific, but they are all part of the PR war and I think we ignore them at our peril. The ACL will have no compunction in exploiting a ‘win’ in such a poll. It is such an easy thing for us to do to spread the word and vote so that the result reflects what we know to be the true position – that over 80 per cent of Australians support legal reform to allow voluntary euthanasia.

      I’m afraid the refusal of some DWD activists to acknowledge the power of online polls to influence opinion and add provide ammunition for our opponents is akin to sticking one’s head in the sand and pretending the internet and social media don’t exist. They do and, to some extent, we have to play the game.

      I am not suggesting for one moment that we would mount an argument for VE based on the results of such an unscientific poll – but our opponents would and there are those who would listen. Isn’t it better not to give them the opportunity?

      1. Ian Wood

        Chrys, I take your point, but the opposition in these cases apparently can rig the result so that no matter how many yes votes are cast for VE, they will cast more against. Here is another example of what happened in a Boston Globe, Mass, USA poll.
        “The vote was a massacre. It started out OK in the morning (see the early numbers in the enclosed article 87% yes) and then, the other side mobilized in a big way. It must have caught the DWD people in Mass. by surprise because they weren’t ready for the counterattack: they were too busy gloating over the article. I learned never to underestimate the bishops. Hopefully, this will be a good wake up call for our side to organize for the general election in November.”
        And on another Australian online poll, where a person in Hawaii was voting yes. “About the poll. I voted five times in the last two hours. The other side has one or more people who have are
        doing this non-stop. I first looked at the poll at 10 pm (Melbourne time) and there had been 752 votes cast: 56% N; 42% Y; 2% U.
        I noticed that there was only one other person logged on but he or she cast 20 N votes in the next hour; I cast 10 Y votes to test the system. It felt like we were having a duel but I finally gave up and went to sleep.”

  2. palmboy

    Thanks so much Chrys for your unrelenting work for a fair and just society. You promptly alerting others has resulted in common sense beginning to be reflected in the poll results, that had previously been hijacked.
    LOVE your work once again

  3. Glen Mcbride

    Greetings Chrys Helly and I have been members of Voluntary euthanasia that changed its name to the silly one Dying with dignity. I hope this effort is more successful than the many I have supported before. But even if they wereto introduce such alaw, it would oly help those in extremis, leaving those who have just had enuf to fry. And I hven’t much time for them to do something want everything ready when I need help Warmly and cheeriloy Glen ________________________________________

  4. 730reportland

    Oh Dear. Omitting the `voluntary`, pimping by the ACL,
    it seems they have given the Tea-bags a good head start.

    I would suspect this poll will be getting `voters` from the bible belt trolling this poll now and will make it useless to Aussies.

    It is a shame that the anti-choice crowd keep getting into other folks personal business.

  5. Ian Wood

    Well Chrys. Praise when praise is due! You have clearly demonstrated that you too can also use the power of social networking. The percentage in support reached a peak of 70.3% (2472 yes votes) around 2.30pm Friday. It has since dropped to 67% (2724 yes votes), due to 296 No votes being cast vs 252 Yes votes, since that Friday.peak.
    It is also significant that over 4000 votes have been recorded at this stage. Other online polls conducted by St James Ethics attracted as low as 100 votes, and even a recent gay marriage poll had less than 1000 votes.
    Unfortunately the problem of how to convince a majority of MPs to vote to give Australians compassionate CHOICE of voluntary euthanasia for those with a terminal or incurable illness, still remains!


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