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Euthanasia legalized in New South Wales

Euthanasia is legalized in New South Wales after five years of debate to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives

The New South Wales Parliament has passed a bill legalizing euthanasia and allowing terminally ill patients to voluntarily end their lives.

The legislation received 23 votes to 15 in the state upper house after members debated nearly 100 amendments Wednesday night and into Thursday.

Controversial legislation bringing the state in line with the rest of Australia will mean voluntary assisted dying will be possible within 18 months.

Both major parties allowed a conscience vote on the contentious issue, which was hotly debated for five years before finally reaching a decision.

Independent MP Alex Greenwich introduced the bill to parliament late last year, with 28 co-sponsors from across the political spectrum.

He said the legislation is about “honesty and compassion” for those suffering, while Liberal Party finance minister Damien Tudehope called the law a “terrible mistake”.

Euthanasia legalized in New South Wales

Co-sponsor, Labor MLC Adam Searle, thanked euthanasia advocates for their decades of campaigning.

“I want to acknowledge the suffering of those who died waiting for this compassionate measure,” he told the lower house after the bill passed.

‘Opponents of this bill have said this about the killing of innocent people.

“We are motivated by love, respect, compassion and because we believe that ultimately this election should be for the person in question and their families in light of all the information they should have been given.

‘It reflects a greater respect for life… Let’s make this law.’

Tudehope called the law’s passage a “dark day” that history would judge to be a “terrible mistake.”

“It was a sad day because it was an opportunity for NSW to say ‘we can be better than this,'” he said.

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Sydney’s Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher agreed in a lengthy statement minutes later, calling the legislation “disturbing”.

“If a civilization is to be judged by how it treats its weakest members, the New South Wales parliament has failed miserably and charted a dark and dangerous path for all posterity, determining a new and disturbing definition of what means being human,” he said. saying.

“I am grateful to the few members of both houses of parliament who spoke out against this bill, often to the scorn and disparagement of fellow parliamentarians, euthanasia lobbyists and media”.

Archbishop Fisher claimed that the NSW Parliament now had a “disgraceful record” of “two of the most anti-life laws in existence in Australia and, indeed, in the entire world”.

More to come.

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