VAD Bill passes first vote in the Upper House

Dying with Dignity NSW and its supporters were thrilled when the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passed the Second Reading vote in the Upper House, by a margin of 20-17 votes on Thursday 11 May.

The Bill will now move to the Committee stage for amendments, expected to be dealt with on Wednesday May 18.

Dying with Dignity NSW President Penny Hackett says “This is an important milestone and we thank everyone in the Upper House who has worked together to make this happen.

“This is Bill that had an unprecedented number of co-sponsors and passed the Lower House with a strong majority, and now tonight has shown that this law reform is also supported by a majority in the Upper House.

“Now we’re asking for members of the Upper House to work together to resolve any amendments in a productive and timely way next Wednesday and proceed to the final vote.

“There are people in NSW with terminal illnesses right now who don’t have time to wait.

“We don’t want to see long lists of hostile amendments being put forward just to play games and delay this important law reform.

“Last minute, unreasonable amendments were shut down in the Lower House, and so we hope that the Upper House takes the same zero-tolerance approach.

“Any further delay will see more terminally ill people dying in unbearable suffering, for no good reason.

“This is a law that is supported by over 80% of the community in NSW. Too many terminally ill people have died waiting for this law to pass. It’s time to get this done.”