Gallup released a poll on the morality of a slew of issues, and "doctor-assisted suicide emerges as the most controversial cultural issue."
According to the poll, 45% of Americans think physician-assisted suicide is morally acceptable while 48% say it is not. Interestingly, this number remains somewhat stable across three age ranges (18-34, 35-54, 55+).
Other issues questioned in the survey include abortion (39% think it morally acceptable, 51% morally wrong); gay and lesbian relationships (56% think it acceptable; 39% morally wrong); and the death penalty (65% think it morally acceptable; 28% morally wrong).
Americans in 2011 widely view divorce, the death penalty, gambling, embryonic stem cell research, and premarital sex as morally acceptable. Even larger majorities are morally opposed to extramarital affairs, polygamy, cloning humans, and suicide.
With these issues seemingly settled, at least for now, several others generate enough disagreement to remain cultural flashpoints, with three -- physician-assisted suicide, out-of-wedlock births, and abortion -- appearing to be particularly divisive, and sparking divergent reactions by party.
Michael J. O'Loughlin