NSW has become the last Australian state to legalise voluntary assisted dying after a marathon debate in the upper house overnight.
The push to pass voluntary assisted dying legislation in NSW was spearheaded by independent MP Alex Greenwich who told The Guardian that this landmark moment “finally passed a threshold of honesty and compassion,” for people of the state.
“Honesty that not all people die well, and compassion that people with advanced and cruel terminal illnesses will have the same end of care options as those in every other state,” he said.
Voluntary assisted dying will now be an available option for NSW residents who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of less than six months, and those that have a life expectancy of less than 12 months who are living with a neurodegenerative condition and experiencing unbearable suffering.
The bill first passed the NSW lower house more than six months ago, despite public opposition from NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet.
However, the bill passed through the state’s upper house today at 12.30pm after a long night of deliberation that yielded over 90 amendments.
Although voluntary assisted dying is now legal in all Australian states, both the Northern Territory and the ACT currently have laws in place that prevent them from making voluntary assisted dying legal in their region.
It’s now for the federal parliament to give the territories the same ability to pass the same laws,” said Mr Greenwich.
NSW Employee Relations Minister, Damien Tudehope, opposed the passing of the bill and stated that the bill “betrayed” people suffering from terminal illness.