Portugal recently made headlines by approving a law to legalize euthanasia, becoming one of the few countries in the world to support the practice. Portugal’s approval of euthanasia is awaiting the president’s promulgation and is expected to come into force by the fall.

However, the deeply Catholic country holds strong opposing views on the legalization of euthanasia in Portugal, as it is seen by many as a direct killing of patients by doctors. The law legalizing euthanasia faced significant opposition within Portugal, with concerns raised about the ethical implications of intentionally ending a person’s life.

Only time will tell how the law will be implemented and what its impact will be on Portuguese society.

In light of these discussions, Real Research, an online survey app, conducted a survey on Portugal legalizing euthanasia to gauge public opinion on this, reflecting the ongoing interest and significance of the legalization of euthanasia in Portugal.


  • A majority of respondents (60.17%) are well aware of the legalization of euthanasia in Portugal
  • 45.01% support the legalization of euthanasia in Portugal
  • Half of respondents (50.83%) support euthanasia for those with incurable illnesses

Portugal became the ninth country in the world to legalize euthanasia on May 12, 2023. The law allows adults who are terminally ill and in unbearable pain to request assistance in dying from a doctor. The doctor must first confirm that the patient is mentally competent and that their request is voluntary. The patient must also be able to self-administer the lethal medication.

According to our survey, the first poll shows that a majority of respondents (60.17%) are well aware of the law, compared to 39.83% who aren’t.

In the following poll, we asked the respondents whether they supported the legalization of euthanasia in Portugal. Most of the respondents (45.01%) supported it, while a minority of 27.14% opposed it, and 27.85% remained undecided.

Should People Suffering from Terminal Diseases Be Allowed to End Their Own Lives?

Respondents were asked whether they believe people suffering from terminal diseases should be allowed to intentionally end their lives. Results revealed that half of the respondents (50.83%) said yes, while 21.32% said no, and 27.85% remained unsure.

Figure 1: Should people suffering from terminal diseases be allowed to end their life intentionally?

The respondents were then asked if they believed that the legalization would result in a rise in the number of persons choosing to end their lives in this manner.

45.31% of respondents believed that it was somewhat likely, while 37.21% believed that it was highly likely. On the other hand, 7.8% believed that it was somewhat unlikely, and 1.78% believed that it was highly unlikely. Meanwhile, 7.9% of respondents remained unsure.

The Impact of Legalizing Euthanasia on the Quality of Care

The legalization of euthanasia in Portugal is a controversial issue. Some people believe that it will lead to a decrease in the quality of care patients receive, while others believe that it will give patients more control over their own end-of-life care.

We asked the respondents whether they believed the legalization of euthanasia in Portugal would decrease the quality of healthcare. 31.14% said somewhat likely, and 25.63% said highly likely.

In contrast, 21.18% said somewhat unlikely and 12.43% said highly unlikely. 9.62% of respondents were unsure.

Moreover, when the respondents were asked if they believe the law should cover those who are not suffering, 39.2% said yes, 31.41% said no, and 29.39% were unsure. In addition, we asked if respondents believe the law should cover those who are not terminally ill; 37.22% said yes, compared to 30.21% who said no. 32.57% remained unsure.

Figure 2: Do you think the law should also cover those who are not terminally ill?

The law will only be applicable to national and legal residents of Portugal. This is because the government wants to ensure that the law is only used by people who are familiar with the Portuguese healthcare system and who have a strong connection to Portugal. The government also wants to avoid the possibility of foreigners coming to Portugal specifically to seek euthanasia.

35.82% of respondents said that Portugal should make euthanasia available for foreigners and 28.93% said no. 35.25% remained uncertain. Lastly, the survey asked the respondents whether euthanasia is an ethical practice. Survey results revealed that 42.67% of respondents believed yes, whereas 24.77% who said otherwise. 32.56% remained unsure.

Figure 3: Is euthanasia an ethical practice?


Survey TitleSurvey on Portugal Legalizing Euthanasia
DurationMay 20, 2023 – May 27, 2023
Number of Participants10,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.