Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill Has Passed In Victoria
Victoria has made Australian history overnight becoming the first state to pass euthanasia legislation. The Andrews Government's voluntary assisted dying bill passing the upper house, 22 votes to 18.
After a lengthy 28 hours of continuous debate and two overnight sittings, the upper house passed the Labor government's legislation on Wednesday evening with some amendments.
"Today is all about emotion and it's all about compassion," said Premier Daniel Andrews after the bill was passed.
"This is Victoria at it's best, leading our nation."
The bill was met with mixed emotions within the government and only managed to gain the majority of support through the promise of amendments to the original safeguards.
For example, under this bill, voluntary assisted-dying will only be made available to terminally ill Victorian patients with less than six months to live. This is half of the original life-expectancy that was proposed for the original legislation.
The bill will return to the lower house next week for the amendments to be discussed and approved, however, this is considered to be just a formality.
Despite the amendment's, supporters of the bill were pleased with the result in the state's upper house.
"I'd be absolutely confident this new slightly amended legislation will pass," said Dr Rodney Syme, the vice-president of Dying with Dignity.
"This legislation is entirely about choice - what choice people want to make about how they will die, where they will die and who they will die with," he said.
However, those who voted no against the bill are disappointed with the result and the state of the current legislation.
"I'm disappointed for all those people who will be at risk from some fairly bad legislation," said Liberal MP Inga Peulich.
In defence of the current voluntary-assisted dying bill Mr Andrews has insisted that this is the most conservative euthanasia legislation in the world and that there are plenty of protections in place.
The scheme is expected to become available by June 2019.