News of the Day ... in Perspective4/5/2005
Zogby Poll: Americans oppose dehydration of disabled patients
Although media reports on the Schiavo case strongly implied that most Americans supported “letting Terri die,” a Zogby poll that asked the questions differently came up with a very different impression.
Zogby asked: “If a person becomes incapacitated and has not expressed their preference for medical treatment, should `the law presume that the person wants to live, even if the person is receiving food and water through a tube?’”
Forty-three percent responded yes, with less than 30 percent saying that the feeding tube should be removed.
Zogby then asked: “If a disabled person is not terminally ill, not in a coma, and not being kept alive on life support, and they have no written directive, should or should they not be denied food and water?”
Nearly 80% said the patient should not be denied food and water; only 9% said yes.
A plurality (42 percent) were in favor of elected officials ordering that a tube be left in place in case of doubt, with just 18 percent disagreeing. When told that Michael Schiavo had been living with another woman for 10 years and had fathered her children, 56 percent said that Terri’s guardianship should have been turned over to her parents.
These findings were reported by NewsMax.com, April 4, 2005.