News State NSW News NSW euthanasia law poised for next step

NSW euthanasia law poised for next step

Assisted dying
A voluntary assisted dying bill could go to a final vote in the NSW upper house on Wednesday. Photo: Getty
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Euthanasia advocates are hopeful NSW is on the cusp of passing laws allowing terminally ill patients to peacefully end their life.

Members of the NSW upper house are expected to hold a final vote on the Voluntary Assisted Dying bill this sitting week, as debate over amendments resumes on Tuesday morning.

Those opposed to the bill can still propose amendments but supporters believe a lengthy debate period from Tuesday morning through to midnight should allow enough time for the bill to progress to a vote – perhaps as soon as Tuesday night.

A number of politicians, unions, charity organisations and pro-euthanasia groups will come together on Tuesday to call on MLCs to pass the bill, making NSW the last state in Australia to allow the terminally ill to die on their own terms .

Cathy Barry, whose brother Tom died after a prolonged battle with metastatic facial carcinoma, is hoping the bill will finally pass.

“Tom died the most terrible, prolonged death, and I don’t want to see that happen to anybody else,” Ms Barry told AAP last week.

“Tom had very good palliative care, he had a great GP and nurses,” she said.

“But nothing they did could relieve his suffering.”

In the last weeks of his life, she watched her brother beg for mercy.

“He could only say two words, it was ‘inhumane’ and ‘help’,” she said.

“I can’t even bear to reflect on it.”

Last week the upper house passed voluntary assisted dying legislation in a 20 to 17 vote, with four supporters of the bill absent.

Some 46 amendments were made to the bill before it passed in the lower house with a majority of 20 votes.

Independent MP for Sydney Alex Greenwich said the compassionate reform was long overdue, and the NSW legislation would be one of the most conservative models in the country.

Mr Greenwich introduced the bill in 2020 with 28 co-sponsors, more than any other piece of legislation in Australian history.

Lifeline 13 11 14

beyondblue 1300 22 4636