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Euthanasia passes through South Australian Parliament
Voluntary euthanasia is another significant step closer to becoming legal in South
Australia, after a bill passed its first Lower House hurdle with an overwhelming
The voluntary assisted dying legislation was debated last week, before House of
Assembly members voted 33 to 5 in favour.
Several MPs shared personal and emotional stories during the debate, with some
arguing that majorities within their electorates wanted to the see voluntary euthanasia
become law in South Australia.
The bill passed the Upper House earlier this month and is the 17th attempt to reform
the law in 26 years.
It is modelled on Victoria's voluntary assisted dying legislation, with a final vote on the
matter due to take place on June 9.
MP Fraser Ellis said he was fundamentally opposed to what he called "state-sanctioned
suicide" but acknowledged that many of his constituents, on Yorke Peninsula,
supported the bill.
"I am of the view human life should be sacrosanct in our lawmaking," he said.
Labor MP Eddie Hughes said his father was a strong practising Catholic, but that he
would have welcomed voluntary assisted dying had it been available.
"He died in a sometimes curtained-off room shared by four dying men that was part of
a larger ward," he said.
Liberal MP Paula Luethen shared messages of support from her constituents, and
recalled her experience watching "my mother die a very undignified death".
"She deserved better. It's time people were given that choice — it is voluntary, not
compulsory," she said.
Liberal MP Adrian Pederick said while he acknowledged "everyone's viewpoint", he
would not be "supporting state-sanction killing".
"I certainly believe that's what it is," he said.
Premier Steven Marshall said he was satisfied that the legislation contained
"A dignified end to life is something to which all our citizens are entitled," he said.
"Neither our nation nor South Australia can be accused of rushing headlong into this
matter — there has been lengthy, comprehensive consultation and debate."
Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas was not in the chamber to hear the speakers,
but went in to vote.
"The reason I didn't make remarks last night is I anticipate there are going to be a
number of amendments," he said.
"I will be voting for the bill but I am open minded to potential amendments that may
improve the bill."
Supporters of voluntary assisted dying rallied on the steps of SA Parliament.
Adelaide, South Australia