Zogby has finally posted information about the poll they did for the Christian Defense Coalition regarding Terri Schiavo and similar situations.
A poll completed after the controversial death of Terri Schiavo finds that eight-in-ten (80%) likely voters say that a disabled person who is not terminally ill or in a coma, and not being kept alive by life support should not, in the absence of a written directive to the contrary, be denied food and water.
The answers to poll also point to a few things that aren't the greatest. 1.) It appears many people in our country have put judges and their rulings on a type of pedestal and 2.) Denying basic rights to the disabled is more accepted than denying basic rights to minorities (neither should be accepted).
Almost all the questions show a fairly deep reservation in this country for the reversal or intervening of legislatures after judicial orders and rulings. A fifth of the respondents thought that the federal government shouldn't intervene "when basic civil rights are denied." A third of the respondents thought that judges who appear to deny basic rights to minorities didn't warrant the intervention of representative government and close to half when it the disabled appear to be denied basic rights.
The representative branch of governments should intervene when the judicial branch appears to deny basic rights to minorities? 57% Agree 33% Disagree 10% Undecided
Later in the poll the exact same question is asked but "minorities" is replaced with "disabled" and you get a 15 point swing. Only 42% agree, 48% disagree and 10% are still undecided.
I find both responses to be frightening in how many people think it is okay for judges to apparently deny basic rights to individuals (almost "The Judge knows best" kind of thinking) but I also find it telling that such a large gap exists between how people view minorities and the disabled.
It seems that certain people (15%) think that it ok to deny basic rights to the disabled solely because they are disabled. The thought that people who are disabled are somehow less worthy of basic rights because of they happen to have a disability seems outlandish to me. Should I lose my right to life if I become paralyzed? Should I no longer be allowed to pursue happiness if am stricken with MS?