Let me know if I missed it, but I saw no comments to my post yesterday in which anyone was willing to take a side in a debate that allegedly represents 49% of America.

I realize this blog readership skews toward skeptics and science lovers. But still, not one person is willing to make a rational case against doctor-assisted suicide?

That is exactly what I predicted.

The 49% poll number was never real. No rational person prefers the government having veto power over the end-of-life decisions that they, their family, and their doctors prefer. And the irrational people don't want me shining a light on their argument.

This reminds me of the conspiracy theory that says gay activists exaggerated the risk of AIDS to the heterosexual community because it was the best way to get funding. I have no opinion on the validity of that conspiracy theory beyond the fact that it activated my pattern recognition for the doctor-assisted suicide topic. It looks as though a tiny percentage of the public (a subset of creationists perhaps) has been using misleading poll results to make it seem as though support for their position is strong when in fact it is nearly non-existent.

I'm still willing to say I'm wrong about the polls being bogus. But it seems mighty strange that 49% of the American public are suddenly hiding.

I submit that the traditional media is missing a big story here on the misleading nature of those polls.

My book's sales rank has dropped since I started hammering on this topic, so I will take that as my guide to back off and let the 1% of the public who are  on the other side have their victory.

I will also take this opportunity to apologize to anyone who felt threatened by my choice of words on this topic.

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Dec 3, 2013
While I agree with you on the suicide issue, you seem to think that traditional media doesn't realize the wording of polls impacts the results. They do, and they don't want the public to know (mind you, I'm not saying they are trying to hide it, just there is no reason for them to talk about it). Traditional media (and even a lot of non-traditional media) makes its money off of sensationalism, argument, and outrage, not news. It pays far better than just reporting facts.
Dec 3, 2013
Hoosier: True, it is all in the manner of the wording.
Dec 3, 2013
I'm thinking you may have glossed over a few things. It sounded to me like a handful of people voiced opinions along the lines of "family members might want someone dead, and influence vulnerable people or make a decision for them." Seems like I also saw something along the lines of insurance providers having a stake -- or influence over doctors -- on the decision because they're paying for health care, and suicide might be cheaper.

Overall, though, the core scenario (and therefore core principle) you were asking about -- I think -- everyone agrees with. It just appears that many people think "legal" assisted-suicide is ripe for abuse and misuse.

Once again, I'll voice complete agreement with you on this topic. Which is predictable, being that most of my social attitudes are fairly libertarian.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 3, 2013
Hey, skewed or not skewed the polls, but not 49% of "the planet".

[Corrected now. Good catch. -- Scott]
Dec 3, 2013
After all this inflammatory rhetoric, you're just going to drop the issue? If you don't care enough about the issue to be prepared to sacrifice book sales, you're not all that committed. The lesson, as always, is never pay any attention to a cartoonist.

[It's not my money that is being sacrificed, as I explained. -- Scott]
+13 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 3, 2013
Gallop discusses in some detail the affect of wording in the poll you refer to:
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