First up, an Ipsos Reid poll conducted in early June:
Seven in 10 Canadians believe doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients should be legal, says a new poll.
And 76 per cent agree with the "right to die" concept for individuals who want to die before enduring the full course of a deadly illness.
Probably the best argument for doctor-assisted suicide is the fact that if it is present as a legal option it can actually extend the life of the sufferer; they can choose the time of their exit based on their own self-perceptions of their quality of life, and not have to either suffer meaninglessly or jury rig a suicide attempt that may fail and leave them worse off than before. And the 2nd best argument is that with doctor assisted suicide as a legal option, when a sick patient approaches their family about arranging their own demise, they are not involving them in an illegal conspiracy.
Not that Canadians are Cavalier about wasting human life. A new Decima poll shows that the vast majority of Canadians want the country's military mission in Afghanistan to end as scheduled in 2009. Even a fair number of Conservatives are down with the program on this one:
Among Conservative voters, respondents were evenly split, with 48 per cent saying they could support an extension and 47 per cent wanting to stick to the withdrawal date.
Perhaps there is hope for them after all.