20 years of research finds most New Zealanders in favour of euthanasia

A review of 20 years of research and 26 different studies has found that most Kiwis favour euthanasia.

According to the Otago University research, of the 3,304 people surveyed, 68.3 percent of them supported euthanasia and 14.9 percent oppose proposed changes to the law around euthanasia.

The research has come as New Zealand looks into the End of Life Choice Bill, which would allow people with terminal illnesses to be given the choice to request assisted dying.

Put forward by ACT Party's David Seymour, the government heard submissions from the public earlier this year.

Lead author of the research review, research fellow Jessica Young, says the findings are consistent with international research.

"It seems that a majority of the public are open to the possibility of legislative change," Ms Young says in a press release.

However she says that it is less clear what forms or euthanasia or assisted dying New Zealander's think should be available or through what regulation. 

The study also clarified people's preferences between euthanasia, a lethal injection that is administered at the voluntary request of a competent patient by a doctor, and assisted dying, when a person obtains a lethal prescription from a doctor and self-administers.

Between the two options, 67.9 percent of people preferred support from a doctor to end someone's life rather than someone else such as spouse or family.

However, Ms Young says the studies have missed some important voices, such as that of those approaching the end of their lives and those with disabilities.