More Evangelicals Believe Suicide Is a Moral Right

At least in certain situations, according to new Pew Research survey on end-of-life medical treatment.
More Evangelicals Believe Suicide Is a Moral Right
Image: Courtesy of Pew Research

About a quarter of evangelicals believe that a person has a moral right to suicide if he or she is ready to die because living is now a burden, or if that person is an extremely heavy burden on his or her family.

The number keeps rising for other situations, according to a substantial study released today by Pew Research on views of end-of-life medical treatment. About a third of white evangelicals and a third of black Protestants believe suicide is a moral right for those who have an incurable disease. And 42 percent of both groups believe suicide is a moral right for those in a great deal of pain with no hope of improvement.

Belief in suicide as a moral option for those who are suffering has grown modestly in the general public since 1990, rising to 62 percent from 55 percent. Since the percentage of American adults who say suicide is never morally right has stayed roughly the same, most of that growth comes from people who answered "I don't know" last time now taking ...

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