Euthanasia law finally approves NSW parliament after four days of debate
A marathon debate of conscience has ended in a convincing vote for voluntary assistance with death laws in the House of Representatives of the NSW Parliament.
The bill will now go to the Senate for examination and debate in the new year.
“We have sent a clear and unequivocal message to the (Legislative Council) to move forward now and deal with this reform early next year,” said Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, who spearheaded the bill.
A press conference (pictured) announced that the controversial Voluntary Aid to Dying Act has been passed in the lower house of the NSW Parliament
“Our NSW parliament wants the Senate to ensure that there are no further delays and that they deal with this in an efficient and respectful manner, just as our house has done.”
The debate on the bill lasted four days, with more than 80 MPs speaking about their own experiences with the deaths of loved ones, stories from their voters, polls and polls of their voters, and religious beliefs.
Both Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet and opposition leader Chris Minns opposed the reform.
Mr Perrottet said the debate was personal to him as his grandmother is dying of pancreatic cancer and he understood why some would want to end their lives quickly.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet (pictured) and opposition leader Chris Minns opposed the reform and Perrottet said the debate was close to his heart as his grandmother dies of pancreatic cancer
But he said the bill was a “threshold moment” and pledged to improve palliative care instead.
Prominent MPs who spoke against the bill included Attorney General Mark Speakman, Police Secretary David Elliott and Labor front benchers Jihad Dib and Sophie Cotsis.
The deputy leaders of the Liberal and Labor parties, Stuart Ayres and Prue Car, were in favour.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard also supported the bill, despite saying he did not support voluntary death assistance for the first 29 years of these three decades in parliament.
TV presenter turned activist Andrew Denton celebrates Friday’s voluntary death bill
Former Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro and former Transport Minister Andrew Constance, both outgoing MPs, returned to parliament to support the bill.
Treasurer Matt Kean and fellow ministers Rob Stokes, Victor Dominello and Adam Marshall also spoke out in favor.
After the second reading vote passed by 53 to 36 votes on Thursday afternoon, MPs were in a race until nearly midnight to consider 167 amendments before parliament rose for the year on Friday.
At lunchtime on Friday afternoon, a largely unchanged bill was passed by 52 to 32.
Mr Greenwich said all ‘hostile’ amendments have been voted down, with only minor changes during the amendment debate.
They include strengthening conscientious objection provisions and creating additional guidelines for physicians on the referral process.
If the landmark reform gains majority support in the upper house next year, NSW will become the last state in Australia to embrace voluntary assisted dying.
Dying with Dignity President Penny Hackett (pictured) has asked the future House of Lords inquiry to consider testimonials from those who had to watch loved ones suffer
Following the announcement, the Senate will conduct an investigation into the bill throughout December and will report before the first session of 2022.
The Senate will conduct an investigation into the bill throughout December and will report before the first session of 2022.
Dying with Dignity President Penny Hackett asked the survey to carefully examine the testimonies of people who were dying or who had seen a loved one die.
Andrew Denton, the founder of Go Gentle, said the rest of Australia would be following the debate in the upper house “very, very closely”.
“The people of NSW will have every reason to ask: If this law is not passed, and not as it should be, why did you do it? We’ll look.’
The proposed legislation limits euthanasia to terminally ill people who would die within 12 months.
Two doctors would be required to review applicants, and the bill will make it a criminal offense to try to get a person to voluntarily request help with dying.