Friday 9 December 2016

Australian euthanasia law defeated by single parliament vote

Published 17/11/2016 | 08:31

Philip Nitschke helped four people die before the Australian Parliament overturned the Northern Territory law in 1997
Philip Nitschke helped four people die before the Australian Parliament overturned the Northern Territory law in 1997

An attempt to legalise voluntary euthanasia in an Australian state has been defeated by a single vote in parliament.

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South Australia almost became the only Australian state or territory to allow assisted suicide, but the state parliament rejected the bill by 24 votes to 23.

Australia's Northern Territory became one of the world's first jurisdictions to legalise mercy killing in 1996, and renowned pro-euthanasia doctor Philip Nitschke helped four people die before the Australian Parliament overturned the law in 1997.

While the Australian Parliament can overturn territories' laws, it does not have the same power over state legislation.

South Australia premier Jay Weatherill said he was "gutted" by the defeat, but he was sure a new bill would be introduced in time.

Press Association

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