What makes USLegalWills.com the best?
Poll: More planning ahead for death, living wills
Survey finds strong support in U.S. for right to die
January 7, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) -- People are more likely these days to plan for
their own death or talk to close relatives about the subject that many have long
been inclined to avoid, a poll found.
With the American population growing older and high-profile life-and-death
cases in the news, more people are trying to come to grips with their own mortality.
Three in 10 people, 29 percent, now say they have a living will,
according to a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. That's
more than twice the number, 12 percent, who said in 1990 that they had put into
writing how they wish to be treated medically, if they are incapable of communicating.
More than two-thirds of those who are married, 69 percent, say
they have talked with their spouse about preferred end-of-life medical care. That's
up from half who had done that in 1990.
"This probably has to do with the aging of the population and
more people confronting these situations," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew
Research Center. "The poll found that people who have participated in decisions
about end-of-life or had loved ones with illnesses in the last five years are much
more likely to have thought about end-of-life treatments or to have living wills."
The median age in this country has been increasing and is now
36.2, according to the U.S. Census. That's up from 32.8 in 1990.
Also increasing the likelihood of discussing death preferences
and preparing living wills are high-profile cases like the Terri Schiavo case, Kohut
Terri Schiavo was the brain-damaged Florida woman at the center
of a battle between her husband and her parents over whether she should be kept
alive or taken off a feeding tube and allowed to die.
Because Schiavo did not have a written record of her end-of-life
preferences, the argument over her fate dragged on in the courts and spilled over
into a political debate. Both Congress and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tried to intervene
in the case.
Schiavo died March 31, two weeks after her feeding tubes were
removed because of a court order.
An overwhelming majority, 70 percent, say that patients should
sometimes be allowed to die -- close to the 73 percent who felt that way 15 years
ago. Just over one in five, 22 percent, say that doctors should always try to save
a patient's life.
The poll also found the public is evenly divided over physician-assisted
suicide, but overwhelmingly supporting laws that allow people to make decisions
about whether they should be kept alive with artificial means.
The poll of 1,500 adults was taken November 9 through 27 and has
a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
(Note that you can create your Will, Power of Attorney and Living Will online at
For More Information Contact: