20/10/2017 9:24 AM AEDT | Updated 20/10/2017 9:24 AM AEDT

Victorian MPs In All Night Debate Over Assisted Dying Legislation

The debate was relatively civil, except for an SMS from the health minister.

Exhausted Victorian MPs are continuing to debate the Labor government's controversial assisted dying bill, as the prime minister admits the federal government is powerless to stop the law if it passes.

After an all-night session in parliament discussing several amendments, MPs adjourned for a short time early on Friday before debate resumed at 6am with more than 100 amendments remaining.

The proposed laws state terminally ill people with less than 12 months to live and who are suffering unbearable pain would be able to request lethal medication.

There are hundreds of disputed amendments to the bill, which has been backed by Premier Daniel Andrews.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he has "reservations" about the model, but the federal government has no power to block Victoria's decision on the issue.

"It will obviously change the law in a very significant way," Mr Turnbull told 3AW.

"If I was sitting there in the Victorian parliament I wouldn't be voting for it."

Former Labor prime minister Paul Keating says the Victorian bill is "unacceptable".

"Under Victorian law there will be people whose lives we honour and those we believe are better off dead," Mr Keating wrote in an opinion piece in Fairfax Media.

"No matter what justifications are offered for the bill, it constitutes an unacceptable departure in our approach to human existence and the irrevocable sanctity that should govern our understanding of what it means to be human."

Tensions within Labor have been running hot over the assisted dying bill, with Health Minister Jill Hennessy accidentally sending a controversial text to Deputy Premier James Merlino, who opposes the legislation.

She wrote, "He is a C U next Tuesday", which Mr Merlino took as an insult intended against him.

Ms Hennessy has been working on the assisted dying bill for more than three years, but Mr Merlino made a last ditch attempt to kill it off on Wednesday.