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Tasmania third Australian state to legalise VAD

At March 23, Tasmania’s Upper House has voted in favour of a voluntary assisted dying law. The End of Life Choice (Voluntary Assisted Dying) Act 2020 will come into effect within 18 months, making Tasmania the third Australian state to approve VAD legislation.

Legislation passed Tasmania’s parliament on Tuesday night, with a final vote in the Legislative Council accepting amendments from the Lower House. The bill was introduced by Independent Legislative Councillor Mike Gaffney, who became emotional as the bill went through the final stages. “I didn’t think I was going to be and as we went through the clauses, the amendments, I thought, god, this is finally going to get through,” he said.

This was the fourth time assisted dying laws have come before the Tasmanian Parliament since 2009. Victoria and Western Australia have already made voluntary assisted dying legal. In the other states developments go around:

  • South Australia is debating a bill.
  • Queensland is next.
  • A bill will be introduced in New South Wales parliament in coming months.
  • Northern Territory Territory Chief Minister has written to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison calling for federal laws to be changed to allow the issue to be considered in the NT parliament.
What’s next?

First the bill has to receive royal assent from the Governor. Then it is expected to take up to 18 months to implement the new laws. Mr Gaffney said he hoped Tasmanians who wanted to access voluntary assisted dying would be able to from mid next year.

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