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First Physician Poll Since COVID-19 Shows Doctors Support Medical Aid in Dying by 2-1 Margin

The first national physician poll since the COVID-19 healthcare crisis started reaching record numbers in the United States shows that doctors nationwide support medical aid in dying by a 2-1 margin, growing by nearly double digits over the last 10 years.

Medscape released its “Life, Death and Painful Dilemmas: Ethics 2020” survey on Nov. 13. When asked “should physician assisted dying be made legal for terminally ill patients?” 55 percent of the 5,000 doctors surveyed nationwide said “yes,” compared to 28 percent who said “no,” and 17% who said “it depends.”

The Medscape survey concluded: “Acceptance of this concept has grown over the decade. More specialists (57%) than primary care physicians (51%) are in favor of physician-assisted dying being legal.”

Medscape’s 2010 survey asking doctors if they supported medical aid in dying showed that 46 percent of physicians nationwide said yes, compared to 41 percent who said no, and 14% who said it depends.

In other words, doctors’ support for medical aid in dying has spiked by nine percentage points over the last decade (from 46% to 55%), while opposition has plunged by 13 percentage points (41% to 28%).