Voluntary Assisted Dying Survey

Ethical Rights surveyed voluntary assisted dying advocates throughout 2020–2021 on many of the ethical issues, policy/regulatory issues and individual preferences that arise in the public debate on voluntary assisted dying (VAD, also voluntary euthanasia, medical aid in dying, physician-assisted suicide). As VAD advocates, their views on what VAD regulatory systems should look like, summarised as key messages in the Summary Report below, are highly relevant.

There were 1640 respondents from 31 countries to the Ethical Rights Voluntary Assisted Dying Survey 2021. Respondents’ views were sought on many issues, including for example, whether VAD should be a right for all adults, whether being terminally ill should be an eligibility criterion (necessary condition) for regulated VAD, and what ought to be the role of doctors, if any, in VAD. 

The survey also expands the VAD debate through obtaining respondents’ views on challenging issues, such as whether there are any attributes that could make a person automatically ineligible for voluntary assisted dying, such as being a convicted criminal, being a child, being pregnant, or having dementia. 

The four pdf documents linked below contain the survey's Summary Report, Results, Supplementary Material and Survey Questions respectively. 

  1.  World VAD Summary Report 2021.

    This document summarises the survey's key messages and outcomes that can be inferred from survey responses, as well as providing background and demographic data. 
  2.  World VAD Results 2021.

    This document graphically presents survey responses (from all respondents around the world). 
  3.  World VAD Supplementary Material 2021.

    This document analyses a number of survey responses, contrasts them with conditions in some VAD regulatory systems, poses questions that will encourage more people to think critically about VAD issues, and ultimately facilitate the development of regulatory systems to better reflect the needs of those wishing to access VAD.
  4.  VAD Survey Questions 2021.

    This document contains the survey questions, the responses to which are presented in the Results document. 

The survey aims to provide data to remove subjectivity from the euthanasia debate. The survey was developed to:

  • seek views of VAD advocates on a range of VAD issues
  • provide data which can be used to inform VAD organisations so that they can make cogent cases to politicians, media and detractors
  • help VAD advocates and others to think more about VAD issues
  • broaden the VAD debate as appropriate, and 
  • provide a basis for a longitudinal VAD study.

Further information will be made available on this website. Updates will also be provided on the Ethical Rights Facebook page.