Euthanasia bill passed in the lower house of the NSW Parliament

Euthanasia is a step closer to becoming legal in NSW.

The voluntary hospice assistance bill succeeded in passing in the lower house of Parliament, with 52 deputies supporting it and 32 opposed.

Prime Minister Dominique Perrottet and opposition leader Chris Maines were both in the hall to vote against the resolution.

The bill was approved on the last sitting day of the year after four days of discussion and more than 150 amendments were considered.

Independent Representative Alex Greenwich, who introduced the bill, said 42 amendments had been accepted.

“All the hostile amendments were voted down convincingly,” Greenwich said.

He added that “all the amendments that were approved were supporters of the law.”

In Parliament, Liberal MP Tanya Davies responded to Greenwich’s criticism that the amendments on the part of those opposing the bill were hostile.

“We heard him say words to those proposing amendments, and he calls us brutal and hostile,” Davis said.

“I want to reassure the Sydney member and those who support the bill [that] Our efforts are completely inconsistent.”

Tanya Davis
Tanya Davis opposes assisted voluntary death and has previously said she favors improving palliative care.(AAP: Brigadier General Lowes)

During the debate over the amendments, there were some angry exchanges from supporters of the bill.

“These amendments are not in good faith and, again, are an opportunity for those to disrupt and bypass every element and every step in this process,” Liberal Representative Leslie Williams said.

Some of the amendments passed included clarifying and tightening the guidelines for clinicians evaluating whether a person qualifies for assisted voluntary death.

“I would like to thank the Sydney member for being willing to engage and negotiate the issues that I and [Australian Medical Association] Labor MP Marjorie O’Neill said she had concerns about “.

There have also been modifications to add more resources for palliative care and specify that it will include regional and rural areas.

woman looking
Coogee member Marjorie O’Neill said her concerns about the bill have been addressed.(News letters)

The bill will now be the subject of a Senate committee, which will consider public requests and hold hearings.

This investigation must be completed before Parliament resumes next year in February to allow the bill to be debated and voted on in the Senate.

The numbers will likely be tougher in the Senate.

woman talking
Attorney Benny Hackett has been a major supporter of the proposed legislation.(AAP: Joel Carrett )

It was a “huge relief”, said Benny Hackett, chair of the NSW Death with Dignity group.

“After 50 years of fighting for this law reform, our supporters can see a light at the end of the tunnel and can now envision a time, not too far in the future, when the terminally ill in NSW will have the same compassion and end choices in life as other Australians.” .

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