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Victorian upper house debate on assisted dying bill ready to proceed

The mental toll of euthanising what are often healthy animals weighs heavy on veterinarians. Photo: Getty

The mental toll of euthanising what are often healthy animals weighs heavy on veterinarians. Photo: Getty Photo: Getty

Victoria’s controversial assisted dying bill has reached state parliament’s upper house where debate is expected to start within days.

Leader of the government in the Legislative Council, Gavin Jennings, gave his second reading speech for the bill on Tuesday afternoon.

“Far too many Victorians have suffered too much and for too long at the end of their lives,” he told parliament.

“Improving policy and community awareness about the end-of-life, and death, are essential if we are to improve Victorians’ choices about how and where they experience both.”

The vote in the Legislative Council is set to be tight, with debate starting on Thursday.

Vote 1 Local Jobs MP James Purcell announced his support on Monday, as long as he can get some amendments.

His support inches the government bill closer to the 21 votes needed to get through the 40-member house.

Also on Monday, Liberal MP Margaret Fitzherbert confirmed she will vote against the bill.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the government would keep an “open mind” to changes proposed by MPs who have flagged tentative support for the scheme.

The government wants to introduce a scheme for the terminally ill with a life expectancy of a year or less.

Mr Purcell said among the amendments he would like to see is a reduction in that time.

-AAP

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