More Than Six in 10 Still Support Decision in Schiavo Case

One year later, Americans' views of the Terri Schiavo case are unchanged -- more than six in 10 still say removing her feeding tube was the right thing to do.

Sixty-four percent in this ABC News poll support last year's decision to remove Schiavo's feeding tube. It was an almost identical 63 percent at the time. More than four in 10 "strongly" believe it was the right thing to do; twice as many as "strongly" call it wrong.

After a bitter battle between Schiavo's parents and husband that involved Congress, the president and the Supreme Court, her feeding tube was removed March 18, 2005. She died 13 days later, on March 31. Schiavo's autopsy revealed irreversible brain damage.

Both sides of the family are releasing books about the ordeal this month.

Was Removing Schiavo's
Tube Right?
  Strongly Somewhat Total
Yes   44%   20%   64%
No   19%   8%   27%

As was the case last year, partisanship is not a factor in these views -- Democrats, Republicans and independents are equally likely to say removing Schiavo's feeding tube was the right thing to do. Conservatives are less likely than liberals and moderates to support removal of the tube, while 53 percent of conservatives think it was right -- that compares with seven in 10 liberals and moderates.

Sizable majorities of evangelical white Protestants and white Catholics -- 61 percent and 73 percent, respectively -- call the removal of Schiavo's tube the right thing to do, despite criticisms of the step by evangelical and Catholic leaders.

Nonwhites are the group most likely to say it was wrong to remove the tube -- they're nearly twice as apt as whites to say so. Another difference is fueled by education levels: Support for removing the tube is 18 points higher among college graduates.


This ABC News poll was conducted by telephone March 2-5, 2006, among a random national sample of 1,000 adults. The results have a three-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

For complete poll results, click here.

For a complete list of ABC News polls, click here.

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