Euthanasia legislation has passed its first test in the New South Wales upper house, paving the way for the last state in the country to legalise the practice. Source: The Australian.
The Legislative Council voted to support the second reading of the bill by 20 to 17, following an hour of passionate debate yesterday.
Supporters were optimistic that majority support would see the “compassionate and long overdue reform” become law, but remained concerned about opponents of the bill proposing “hostile amendments” to slow its passage.
The bill will likely go to committee stage next Wednesday if amendments are added for further debate.
If enshrined into law the bill will bring NSW into line with other states in legalising euthanasia for people with incurable medical conditions who have less than six months to live or 12 months for a neurodegenerative disease.
At least 23 of 42 MPs eligible to vote in the Legislative Council have spoken in support of assisted dying reform. Bill co-sponsor and independent MP Alex Greenwich urged opponents in the upper house not to “not to unnecessarily waste time” by putting forward “hostile amendments”.
The reform includes an 18-month “implementation phase” from the date of assent to allow NSW Health time to administer the scheme and train doctors.
First step for NSW last in line on euthanasia (The Australian)