The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 (NSW): a comparison with the Victorian Bill
On 21 September 2017, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 was introduced into the NSW Legislative Council. This Private Members Bill is co-sponsored by three MLCs, Trevor Khan (The Nationals), Lynda Voltz (Labor) and Mehreen Faruqi (The Greens). They developed the Bill in a cross-party group of members which also included MPs Lee Evans (Liberal) and Alex Greenwich (Independent). A consultation draft of the Bill was released on 16 May 2017.
A Bill with the same title is currently being debated in the Victorian Parliament. On 20 September 2017, the Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, introduced the Bill into the Legislative Assembly and, on 20 October 2017, the Bill passed the Assembly without amendment by 47 votes to 37. On 3 November 2017, the Bill passed the second reading stage in the Legislative Council by 22 votes to 18, and the Bill is now in the Committee stage. The Bill was developed following a July 2017 Ministerial Advisory Panel Report. This Panel was set up after a June 2016 report by the Legislative Council’s Legal and Social Issues Committee.
In June 2017, the NSW Parliamentary Research Service published an Issues Backgrounder on euthanasia and assisted suicide. The paper outlined developments in NSW, and in other Australian and overseas jurisdictions. It also contained a list of key reports, journal articles, and media articles. The purpose of this Issues Backgrounder is to compare the NSW and Victorian Bills. Note that the Victorian Parliamentary Library has published a Research Note on the Victorian Bill.