Date of Award

Summer 2004

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Elizabeth Monk-Turner

Committee Member

James Oleson

Committee Member

Nonso Okereafoezeke

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 B33 2004


The acceptance of euthanasia is examined using the 1972-2002 GSS cumulative dataset. The dataset contains a total of 43,698 respondents. The euthanasia question, "Should a terminally ill patient be allowed the right to die?" was asked beginning in 1977. The number of respondents answering the euthanasia question totals 22,039. The independent variables age, race, gender, political view, religious affiliation, and education were reviewed to assess their impact on support of euthanasia. Additionally, in order to test the "slippery slope" hypothesis, the abortion question, "Should abortion be allowed under any circumstance?" was added to the independent variable list. Cross tabulation was used to test the significance and relationship between the independent and dependent variables. To test the "slippery slope" hypothesis, logistic regression was used to test the relationship between acceptance of euthanasia and abortion. Cross tabulation results show higher acceptance of euthanasia among older people, whites, the highly educated, liberal respondents, Jewish respondents, and males. The logistic regression shows that, in model one, the results largely replicated the bivariate analyses, however differences among religion showed Christians favoring euthanasia 54% less than non-Christians, those with a college education were 9% less likely to support euthanasia than those without a college education and liberals supported euthanasia 41 % more than the odds of conservatives and moderates. In model two, euthanasia with abortion beliefs, differences show that religion increased, gender decreased, and education was not significant.


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