Numerous amendments highlighted ahead of NSW upper house debate on voluntary death
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Numerous amendments highlighted ahead of NSW upper house debate on voluntary death

NSW politicians are gearing up for a lengthy debate on euthanasia after nearly 100 amendments to a new bill were flagged.

Voluntary, assisted dying advocates urged upper house MPs who oppose the bill not to “hamper” the legislative process with amendments made in bad faith during a debate on Wednesday.

Numerous amendments highlighted ahead of NSW upper house debate on voluntary death

“We hope they fulfill the mandate that the (House of Commons) has given them to pass the bill, reflecting the will of the people of NSW who overwhelmingly support it,” said independent House of Commons MP Alex Greenwich.

“We urge them not to hinder it but to allow respectful and vigorous debate and get to this result this week.”

Adam Searle of Camera IconLabor and independent MP Alex Greenwich are two supporters of the bill. Credit: News Corp Australia

Proponents of the legislation have argued that MPs who table large numbers of amendments do so to block the bill, which has been voted on in both houses.

Wednesday’s debate could be the final hurdle to the bill unless amended, in which case it returns to the lower house.

If passed into law, it would bring NSW in line with all other states in legalizing voluntary euthanasia for people with incurable medical conditions who have less than 12 months to live.

By 4 p.m. on Tuesday, a total of 91 amendments had been tabled by four MPs.

Camera icon Fred Nile, leader of the Christian Democratic Party, highlighted amendments to the bill. David Swift/NCA NewsWire Credit: NCA NewsWire

The leader of the Christian Democratic Party, Fred Nile, had submitted 49, and Labor MP Greg Donnelly 33.

Gunmen, Fishermen, and Farmers Party leader Robert Borsak had three to his name, and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell six.

The CDP changes would limit patients’ ability to self-administer euthanasia drugs and strengthen the requirements for recording death data.

Mr. Donnelly’s amendments touch on several aspects of the bill, including patient eligibility criteria.

Labor leader Chris Minns, who, like other party leaders, let his members vote as they pleased, said he was not sure why Mr. Donnelly had tabled so many amendments.

“I suspect if I asked if this was a delaying tactic, the member would come back to me and say absolutely no,” said Mr Minns.

“The… best way for the NSW Parliament to deal with many amendments is to sit down until the legislation is passed.”

Camera IconOlder Women’s Network chairman Beverly Baker urged MPs not to “mess around.” NCA NewsWire/Dylan Coker Credit: News Corp Australia

The amendment debate will likely take up most of Wednesday and is expected to last well into the evening.

Beverly Baker, chairman of the lobbying group Older Women’s Network, said it was “absolutely clear” that the bill was supported by most residents of NSW.

“I think it is absolutely unfair for MPs to oppose the legislation through amendments, filibustering, and rubbish when it is crystal clear that the people of NSW support it,” she said.

Some Christian aged care providers have argued that institutions should have the right to voluntarily deny patients assistance with dying.

“The best scenario for us would be the bill not passed, but in the worst case scenario, we believe there are reasons to introduce an amendment,” Hammondcare’s director of palliative care, Andrew Montague, told reporters. 10 News.