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KPIX 5 Poll Finds Strong Bay Area Support For Right-To-Die Bill Among All Age Groups, Party Affiliations

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – As California lawmakers consider a bill allowing terminally ill patients to obtain life-ending medication, a new KPIX 5 / SurveyUSA poll found strong support of the bill among Bay Area residents.

The poll of 500 Bay Area residents (.pdf) found 68 percent of respondents supported the right-to-die measure, 22 percent were opposed and 10 percent were not sure.

Majorities supporting the measure were found among all age groups surveyed and among Democrats (77 percent), Republicans (62 percent) and independents (69 percent). The survey had a margin of error +/- 4.2 percent.

If approved, Californians who have less than six months to live would be allowed to obtain medication to end their lives. Patients would have to take the medication themselves, without help from a doctor.

The bill was prompted by the case of Brittany Maynard, a Bay Area woman who moved to Oregon to end her life last year after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Oregon is one of five states that currently allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs.

Opponents of the measure include religious groups and the California Medical Association, who says it conflicts with the doctor's role as a healer.

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