Over the finish line at long last

It’s been a long time coming, but these two stories note how it panned out over the last 24 hours. The first reference is ABC News and the second is from Go Gentle Australia.

A race against time as Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill faces long list of amendments in the NSW upper house, By Ursula Malone. ABC News, Wednesday 18 May 2022 


Independent MP Alex Greenwich says he is hopeful his Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill will be passed by the NSW upper house by midnight tonight and is pleading with MPs to not use stalling tactics.

Key points:

  • The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill will have its third reading in the NSW upper house today
  • Around 100 amendments have been listed for debate
  • The upper house has set aside time until midnight tonight 

More than 100 amendments will need to be dealt with as the Legislative Council holds a third reading of the bill, which was passed in the lower house in November last year by 52 votes to 32.

The upper house has until midnight to debate and vote on the proposed legislation.

“I hope members of the upper house respect the mandate the lower house has provided them with and respect the will of the people of NSW to pass this bill and I hope that time is not wasted,” Mr Greenwich said.

“Not only will that be disrespectful to the parliament but what it really does is prolong the unnecessarily cruel and painful deaths of some people with advanced terminal illness.”

Mr Greenwich said he would be in the chamber to watch what he hoped would be a “robust and respectful debate”.

But he is fearful that opponents of the bill will purposely try to extend the debate so that the house runs out of time.

“It’s a bit late now to be lobbing in hundreds of amendments when the parliament has had this bill for the past 12 months,” he said.  

“I would ask you to focus on the people this reform is for rather than the politics of delay.”

Politicians from both major parties have been given a conscience vote on the bill.

NSW is the only state yet to pass legislation to allow Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD).

“People with advanced and cruel terminal illness in NSW deserve the same end of life chance as in every other state,” Mr Greenwich said.


NSW makes history, passes Voluntary Assisted Dying law

At last! After 50 years of tireless advocacy, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 has passed NSW Parliament.

The Lower House voted the Bill into law after the Upper House also approved the Bill with just a handful of amendments.

This is a revolution in end-of-life care, and an evolution in compassion.

Terminally ill people in NSW finally have a choice not to suffer – like Australians in every other state.

The law will come into effect in 18 months time.

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