Euthanasia bill could cause NSW Liberals rift

Gladys Berejiklian (ACU)

Gladys Berejiklian’s colleagues fear a euthanasia bill would be politically poisonous for her as some MPs demand the New South Wales Premier keeps a promise of no more conscience votes. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich intends to draft a private member’s bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia for terminally ill patients. He expects the bill could be before parliament mid-next year.

However, the issue is expected to cause bitter tension among Liberals, with several MPs insisting that Ms Berejiklian had promised that euthanasia would be not pursued after last year’s abortion debate.

Ms Berejiklian assured colleagues in a party room meeting in August 2019 that there would be no more conscience votes in this term of government.

The decriminalisation of abortion was politically damaging for Ms Berejiklian despite it being a private member’s bill, also introduced by Mr Greenwich but co-sponsored by several Coalition MPs.

In 2017, the NSW upper house debated a bill to make it legal for terminally ill patients aged 25 or over and expected to die within 12 months to end their own life with medical assistance. It was narrowly defeated by one vote.

FULL STORY

‘Political poison’: Right-wing Liberals insist Berejiklian ruled out assisted dying (By Alexandra Smith, Sydney Morning Herald)

RELATED COVERAGE

Push to legalise assisted dying in NSW with Alex Greenwich MP drafting legislation (The Australian

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk hits brakes on euthanasia law (The Australian

QLD euthanasia debate: A voice in the dark speaks out over life and death (The Australian)

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