Peter Gutwein has thrown his support behind proposed euthanasia laws being debated in Tasmania’s lower house, which are now almost certain to pass. Source: ABC News.
The Premier has voted against such legislation three times previously and said he still held concerns about how euthanasia could impact vulnerable Tasmanians.
But he commended independent MLC Mike Gaffney on his bill, which passed through the state’s Upper House last month.
Mr Gutwein said his experiences of personal loss had helped shape his views. He said he supported the bill because he believed “very firmly that an individual should take personal responsibility for their actions during their life”.
Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff — an opponent of voluntary euthanasia legislation in the past — has also expressed his support for the bill.
It is the fourth attempt to get such legislation through Tasmania’s Parliament and appears likely to pass, but debate will not conclude until early next year.
The legislation will be reviewed in the interim by a specially-convened University of Tasmania panel.
Debate will continue today and if it receives majority support, the bill is all but assured of becoming law, but will need to come back to Parliament next March to be finalised.
Tasmania's Premier Peter Gutwein voices support for voluntary assisted dying to become law (By Emily Baker and Alexandra Humphries, ABC News)