THE majority of NSW lower house MPs voted to give terminally ill people the right to choose to end their lives on Thursday (November 25).
They then had to plough through more than 160 suggested changes to the proposed law.
MPs sat late into the night on Thursday and continued their debate on Friday, the final sitting day for NSW parliament for the year, in a bid to send the bill to the upper house by year's end.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill has passed by 52 votes to 32 in the third reading vote in the NSW Legislative assembly on Friday afternoon.
Independent MP Alex Greenwich has been spearheading the push.
"I'm grateful for the strong support for reform from my colleagues, finally our parliament is reflecting the will of the people of NSW," Mr Greenwich said.
"I thank the opponents of reform for the orderly and respectful way they have continued to act throughout this debate."
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams is a co-sponsor the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill said this is a long time coming.
"I know so many across the Port Macquarie electorate will be very pleased to hear the news. In fact, the last survey I conducted of almost 3,000 voters, over 91 per cent supported the Bill," she said in a statement on her Facebook page on Thursday evening following the second reading vote in the NSW Legislative Assembly.
"It's been a long time coming.
"I thank the Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich MP for bringing this Bill to the House and my 27 other co-sponsors for their efforts in helping this Bill pass the Legislative Assembly."
The upper house is holding an inquiry to the bill throughout December and will report back before the first sitting day of 2022.
Dying with Dignity NSW said they are relieved that the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 has passed the final vote in the Lower House.
"We congratulate members of the Legislative Assembly who have acted in good faith and respectfully worked their way through what has been a challenging and emotional debate," Dying with Dignity president Penny Hackett said.
"After five decades of campaigning for this law reform, our supporters can see a light at the end of the tunnel and can now picture a time, in the not too distant future, when terminally ill people in NSW will have the same compassionate, end-of-life choices as other Australians.
"We know we will face further challenges when the Bill moves to the Upper House early next year but it is a huge relief that this debate has been resolved in the Lower House before Parliament finishes for the year."
Health Minister Brad Hazzard was among the MPs to speak in favour of the bill on Friday.
The veteran MP had not supported euthanasia for the first 29 years of his three-decade career in parliament, but he said this bill was different.
Mr Hazzard became emotional as he recalled holding his mother's hand and asking her to squeeze it if she wanted palliative care, knowing that death might come more quickly if she did.
His mother squeezed his hand. She died the next day.
Mr Hazzard said that voluntary assisted dying does not "remove the importance of the value of palliative care".
"What it does do is give choice to those who are approaching the end of their life, to those who might suffer (what) none of us would want family members or friends or anyone to suffer, to enable that person to control their own passing."
He also said he couldn't withhold a right from NSW residents that Australians in all other states have.
If the historic reform secures majority support in the upper house next year, it will make NSW the final state in Australia to embrace voluntary assisted dying.
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