Assisted dying bill passed

HISTORIC: Giles MP Eddie Hughes posted a video on social media shortly after the bill was passed in the Lower House at around 1:30am Thursday morning. Photo - Facebook.
HISTORIC: Giles MP Eddie Hughes posted a video on social media shortly after the bill was passed in the Lower House at around 1:30am Thursday morning. Photo - Facebook.

For the first time in 17 attempts, the Lower House has passed the Assisted Dying Bill with support from Member for Giles Eddie Hughes.

The battle was a personal one for Mr Hughes, who witnessed his father experience a cruel death to cancer, a fate which he hopes the new bill will prevent for future families.

Debate on the bill in the Lower House concluded in the early hours of Thursday morning, with a vote of 33 for and 11 against. Member for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan was one of the 11 who voted against the bill.

Mr Hughes said the debate was healthy and respectful and afforded both sides to state their arguments.

"I fully supported the bill, it is about compassion and choice ... people should have the choice towards the end of their life," he said.

"The debate was civil and respectful, both sides of the argument made strong contributions and there were a number of amendments that were agreed to."

The bill currently allows for a doctor to "conscientiously object" from supporting assisted death, and an amendment was added to allow hospitals run by religious organisations to also "conscientiously object".

"They do facilitate that person who wants to use assisted dying to go to another hospital which does enable that," Mr Hughes said.

"The amendments were worthwhile supporting."

Safeguards are also in place to prevent the bill from being abused, with Mr Hughes describing it as a "very conservative piece of legislation".

"To a significant degree it mirrored the Victorian legislation which has no evidence of abuse ... the bill addressed a lot of the concern that people have," he said.

"It was good to see such a strong vote for it."

The legislation now goes back to the Upper House where it's likely to be passed and enacted. It's expected to come into law in approximately 18 months.