Almost three-quarters of adults support proposals to legalise assisted suicide in principle, according to a new poll published ahead of a vote on legislation next week.

MSPs will debate and vote on the general principles of the Assisted Suicide Bill when it comes before Holyrood on Wednesday.

The Bill, first brought forward by independent MSP Margo MacDonald, who died after a battle with Parkinson's disease in 2014, would allow those with terminal or life-shortening illnesses to obtain help in ending their suffering.

A survey by ORB International on behalf of CARE (Christian Action Research and Education) for Scotland revealed 35% of Scots agree strongly with the principle of assisted suicide while 38% agree, a further 7% disagree strongly and 8% disagree. The remaining 12% said they do not know.

The poll, which questioned 1,044 adults, also asked respondents who support the measure about whether the arguments against the proposals to legalise assisted suicide would make them change their minds.

Arguments against the proposal include the risk that people will feel pressurised into ending their life early so as not to be a financial or care burden on loved ones.

According to the poll, a total of 22% of those backing assisted suicide changed their minds when presented with this argument.

A total of 23% dropped their support when told changes in the law in other countries have led to "a steady increase in the number of cases and spread of the practice to involve people with chronic but not fatal diseases, disabled people, children as well as those with mental illnesses and dementia".

Meanwhile, 13% switched sides when told that in Oregon there are "22 recorded cases of people regurgitating their lethal prescription and six have regained consciousness and not been counted as assisted suicide deaths".

In addition, 12% swapped sides when told of concerns that "end-of-life care would be likely to worsen under financial pressures because it costs on average £3,000 to £4,000 a week to provide in-patient hospice care, but just a one-off cost of £5 to pay for the drugs which would help them commit suicide".

Almost a fifth (18%) said they would oppose the Bill when the learned that doctors and disability rights advocacy groups oppose assisted suicide.

Those who support assisted suicide being legalised said it was "a biased poll presenting only one side of the argument."

But Dr Stuart Weir, national director of CARE for Scotland, said: "I hope MSPs will consider carefully what this latest polling shows.

"There are good reasons to abandon this legislation and what we have seen is when people are shown these arguments, support for assisted suicide declines at quite an astonishing rate.

"We should be helping people to live, not trying to facilitate premature death."

Bob Scott, spokesman for My Life, My Death, My Choice, the campaign group in favour of the Bill, said: "This poll is a desperate and misleading ploy by opponents who are set on denying those enduring terrible suffering the choice to end their life at a time and in a place and manner of their choosing."

Dr Scott said other surveys have shown that when the arguments both for and against assisted suicide are presented, public support "remains around the same, at over 65%".

He added: "Indeed, the most recent poll conducted in Scotland revealed that 75% of Scottish voters not only support the legislation but feel it is important that this Bill becomes law.

"We are confident that when MSPs learn more about the strong public support the Bill actually has, they will vote in its favour at stage one to allow the debate to continue."