Local News

New South Wales euthanasia bill fails to pass by single vote

The bill to legalise voluntary assisted dying has failed to pass the Upper House after a mammoth parliamentary debate.

By Lorna Gray
A bill to legalise euthanasia has failed to pass the Upper House of the New South Wales parliament.
Allowing terminally ill people the right to end their lives has long been a contentious issue so parliamentary debate was unsurprisingly long.
The mammoth debate ran all of Thursday and ended at nearly midnight and failed to pass by a single vote - 19 voting in support and 20 against.
The proposed legislation was introduced by Nationals MP Trevor Khan and was put to a conscience vote.
It comes as a similar bill looks set to pass the Upper House in Victoria in a matter of days.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill historically passed the Lower House in Victoria after a whopping 26-hour(!) debate last month.
If it passes the Upper House, 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.
However, the bill has been amended slightly since debate began.
Originally, it stated terminally ill adults in severe pain and with only a year to live could apply to access lethal drugs, but this has been slashed to six months. It remains 12 months for sufferers of neurodegenerative conditions like motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis.
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.”
Euthanasia advocate Andrew Denton says if the bill passes, it'll be the most "conservative" in the world.
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