A new poll from Dying With Dignity Canada and Ipsos has found that 80% of Albertans support the idea of requiring publicly funded hospitals to provide medically-assisted dying on their premises. The support rises to 86% among non-religious Albertans.
A number of hospitals in Alberta, like in British Columbia, are run by Catholic or other religious agencies despite receiving the majority of their funding from the provincial government. These hospitals have often been granted exemptions by provincial governments from providing access to assisted dying or abortion services, meaning patients at these hospitals are often forced to undergo transfers to secular facilities.
The poll found that 9% of Albertans identify as atheist/agnositc/Humanist and another 29% have no religious identity. Older Albertans are significantly more religious, with 71% of those over 55 identifying as religious compared to only 54% of those under 55.
In 2016, the BC Humanist Association found with Insights West that 71% of British Columbians did not support publicly-funded healthcare institutions being able to refuse to provide services like medically-assisted dying or abortion on religious grounds.