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SA euthanasia bill goes to final vote

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The decades-long push to legalise euthanasia in South Australia could come to an end tonight as the Lower House prepares for a final conscience vote on voluntary assisted dying legislation.

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The Bill – which proponents say contains 68 safeguards and has been described as the “most conservative” euthanasia legislation to come before SA Parliament – has already passed the Upper House and a second reading vote in the House of Assembly.

Cosponsored by Labor’s Kyam Maher and Susan Close, it is the 17th attempt in 25 years to legalise voluntary assisted dying in South Australia.

The legislation looks poised to become law due to a shift in the make-up of the Lower House and a number of MPs changing their view on the issue since it was last voted down in 2016.

The Bill’s second reading vote passed 33-5 in the Lower House two weeks ago.

However, debate over amendments to the legislation in its final reading could drag long into the night, with proceedings not due to start until 7:30pm.

If passed, terminally ill patients who have been given six months to live would have the right to die if approved by two separate doctors.

To be eligible, they also have to be over the age of 18 and a resident of South Australia for more than 12 months.

The request to end life early also has to come from the patient and cannot be raised by a doctor.

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