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Victoria To Be The First State To Legalise Euthanasia

Victoria looks likely to become the first state in Australia to legalise euthanasia, with a bill expected before parliament next year.

Premier Daniel Andrews has indicated language on the issue has strengthened in recent weeks, saying the government would provide "a way forward".

Victorian MPs who have called for legalised assisted dying will get an official response from the government this week.

A cross-party committee of MPs in June recommended legalising assisted dying in limited circumstances and the government's deadline for a response is Thursday.

The committee examined voluntary euthanasia laws in other countries and found they had robust regulations to protect people against abuse.

The Herald Sun reports on Wednesday that the Andrews government has decided to establish an expert panel to advise it on an appropriate model.

The finalised legislation then would be put to parliament, where all MPs would vote with their conscience, with the issue settled by the end of next year.

Last month, the South Australian parliament knocked back for the 15th time voluntary euthanasia laws in that state.

The Victorian branch of the Australian Medical Association urged the government to ensure palliative care continued to be properly funded and adequate safeguards were in place.

"Palliative care must be freely available to all who have a terminal condition or who require management of the symptoms of chronic and incurable medical conditions," AMA Victoria president Lorraine Baker said in a statement.

It's also called for the medical profession to be involved in discussions about any legislation.

Right to Life Australia President Margaret Tighe told AAP Mr Andrews could be unwittingly signing the death warrant of his own government by ignoring problems associated with legalised patient killing in other countries.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.


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