A new poll says that a vast majority of Australians support assisted dying legislation for terminally ill patients.
As Victoria's upper house prepares to debate the state's controversial assisted dying legislation next week, a new poll has found 87 per cent of Australians support it.
The survey, by Roy Morgan Research, asked people if they were in favour of a doctor "giving a lethal dose when a patient is hopelessly ill with no chance of recovery and asks for a lethal dose".
Eighty-seven per cent of respondents said they support voluntary euthanasia, up 18 per cent since the poll was done in 1996, Roy Morgan said on Friday.
When the research agency first asked people the question in 1962, the population was divided, with 47 per cent favouring allowing a doctor to give a lethal dose, versus 39 per cent against and 14 per cent undecided.
"Although the question of euthanasia has always provoked a great deal of debate, the views of the Australian public has decisively moved in favour of the action over the last two decades," Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan Research said on Friday.
"Today's results show that, although the Victorian euthanasia legislation is the first time an Australian state has passed legislation allowing euthanasia, the state government is unlikely to suffer any political fallout from the move."
The Victorian legislation passed its latest test in the state's upper house last Friday after emotional speeches, with debate on amendments to start on November 14.
So far 19 MPs have declared support, while several others say they are prepared to vote in favour only if they can make amendments, which could be rejected.