Assisted dying bill passes Victorian Upper House

MPs wept and embraced one another in parliament after the law was passed following 100 hours of debate

Voluntary euthanasia has been legalised in the Australian state of Victoria.

MPs wept in emotional scenes, hugged and consoled colleagues after a competition from conservative opposition.

Extensions to the six-month timeframe will be made for sufferers of conditions like motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis, who will be able to access voluntary euthanasia with less than 12 months to live.

A similar bill was defeated in the NSW parliament's upper house on November 16 by just one vote. Under the new law, doctors must have predicted that the patients have less than six months to live.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who introduced the legislation, has described the assisted suicide legislation as "the most conservative in the world".

"It's about providing for those who have for too always been denied a compassionate end the control, the power over the last phase of their journey", he said. "Only a morally mixed up society would approve suicide when it's doctor assisted and doctors should not be expected to forsake their vocation", he tweeted as his 93-year-old father, Richard, lay in hospital following an apparent serious stroke.

"Dreadful news out of Victoria".

"An Australian parliament has recognised the right of people who are terminally ill and suffering unbearable pain to control the manner of their passing".

"Is it possible to write ideal legislation that distinguishes between the unbearable suffering some people may feel and wish to commit suicide versus those who rationally may chose suicide".

Under the Victorian bill, a doctor would be permitted to administer a lethal injection only in cases where patients were physically incapable of doing so themselves.

"I very much regret the fact the same-sex marriage debate has very much distracted us from this bid to legalise a doctor assisted dying".

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