Nearly seven in 10 Americans support assisted suicide, up a whopping 10 percent over last year, according to new Gallup numbers.

Here's the question Gallup posed this year and last on the controversial subject: "When a person has a disease that cannot be cured and is living in severe pain, do you think doctors should or should not be allowed by law to assist the patient to commit suicide if the patient requests it?"

Note the "by law" phrase. This wasn't just asking folks if they thought it was okay for a doctor to provide assistance, but rather, should it be legal?

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.