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Victoria euthanasia bill in doubt following stark warnings from Paul Keating and Tony Abbott

The former prime ministers spoke out against the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill which could see euthanasia legalised.

By Lorna Gray

Last week, a bill to legalise euthanasia historically passed the Lower House in Victoria after a whopping 26-hour(!) debate.

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill is due to go before the Legislative Council next week.

If it passes, terminally ill people over 18 who are in severe pain and only have a year to live will be given the right to access lethal drugs.

But The Australian reports two key state MPs have withdrawn their support since Friday, with many MPs torn over what has long been a contentious issue.

Now former prime ministers Paul Keating and Tony Abbott have both weighed in on allowing terminally ill people the right to end their lives.

Keating said the bill passing the Lower House was “a sad moment for the entire country”.

Abbott said: “We don’t want anyone to be regarded as useless, worthless or disposable. But that’s what this legislation says.”

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews applauded Health Minister Jill Hennessy in bringing the bill about. Premier Andrews, who lost his father to cancer earlier this year, stated that an announcement made today on assisted dying will provide “a way forward”.

Euthanasia advocate Andrew Denton said if it passes, it'll be the most "conservative" in the world. He was among members of the public in Parliament to watch the vote on Friday.

Support for the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill is estimated to be split 20-20 at the moment.

More as we get it.

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