In the new survey, the Center attempted for the first time to pose some of these philosophical questions to a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults, finding that Americans largely blame random chance – along with people’s own actions and the way society is structured – for human suffering, while relatively few believers blame God or voice doubts about the existence of God for this reason.
Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with terminal brain cancer, has gone public with her plans to take her own life. Most Americans say there are circumstances in which a patient should be allowed to die, but the public is split on laws about doctor-assisted suicide.
The Uniform Law Commission, a body of lawyers who produce uniform legislation for states to adopt, recently drafted the “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (FADA)," which would grant fiduciaries broad authority to access and control digital assets and accounts.
Americans aren't dying like they used to. They're living longer, and more are dying of natural causes. In 2010, nearly one-third of all deaths (31%) came from people ages 85 and older - a big improvement from 1968, when the 85+ age cohort made up just 12.6% of all deaths.
It’s a question not many consider given how embedded the internet is in their lives. The typical web user has 25 online accounts, ranging from email to social media profiles and bank accounts, according to a 2007 study from Microsoft. But families, companies and legislators are just starting to sort out who owns and has access to these accounts after someone has died.
In recent years, legislatures and courts, religious leaders and scientists, citizens and patient advocates have all weighed in on end-of-life issues ranging from whether the terminally ill should have the right to take their own lives to how much treatment and sustenance those in the last stages of life should receive.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.