Historic euthanasia laws pass Victoria’s lower house after marathon sitting

Friday 20 October 2017

Benjamin Preiss & Noel Towell, The Age  

Historic voluntary euthanasia laws have passed Victoria's lower house after MPs endured a marathon sitting overnight and well into Friday morning.

The legislation will now head to Parliament's upper house with assisted dying supporters hopeful they have the numbers to pass the momentous laws.

Victoria will be the first state in Australia to offer an assisted dying regime if the legislation is passed.

Exhausted MPs sat through a gruelling session as opponents moved hundreds of amendments in an effort to delay the passage of the bill.

Deputy Premier James Merlino a fierce opponent of the government's bid to legalise a strictly monitored euthanasia scheme, had proposed an amendment that would have killed off the bill, long-championed by Labor as a flagship policy.

All amendments were defeated.

The bill passed with 47 votes for and 37 votes against about 11.20am.

Debate over the divisive bill began at 9.30am on Thursday. It continued throughout the night, pausing only for two short 30-minute breaks.

Greens MP Ellen Sandell tweeted about 'some appalling behaviour' during the sitting.

'Filibustering on assisted dying legislation by Libs and Nats overnight has been really disappointing,' she wrote.

The proposed laws state terminally ill people with less than 12 months to live and who are suffering unbearable pain will be able to request lethal medication.
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