December 16, 2014 11:18 PM EST

For the first time, most U.S. doctors — 54% — favor assisted suicide, backing the rights of patients with an “incurable illness” to seek “a dignified death,” according to a survey of more than 21,000 doctors released Tuesday night by Medscape. In 2010, a Medscape survey asked the same question, finding that 46% of doctors agreed with the notion of assisted suicide. Medscape, owned by WebMD, is an online resource for physicians.

The new survey was conducted from September through November — a time that paralleled the highly public campaign waged by Brittany Maynard, 29, who decided to end her own life with a lethal prescription…

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