A majority of Saskatchewan people believe people with terminal illnesses should be able to legally access doctor-assisted suicide, a new poll says.

About 57 per cent of people either strongly or somewhat agree that it should be a right, according to the University of Saskatchewan's Taking the Pulse survey.

Right now, doctor-assisted suicide is illegal.

About the survey

Taking The Pulse reflects the views and opinions of 1,750 people in Saskatchewan. The University of Saskatchewan's Social Sciences Research Lab conducted the telephone interviews of randomly selected adults March 5-19.

With a sample size of 1,750, the poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.34 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

According to Bryan Salte, spokesman for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, doctors aren't talking about the issue in any formal way, but it is debated among physicians.

"A doctor's job is to support life and to try and to cure. So then it's quite inconsistent for them to be involved in any effort to end life," he said.

On the other hand, Salte said, some doctors have commented that in appropriate circumstances they have a duty to assist a patient to end his or her life — when the patient is suffering and doesn't have a very good quality of life.