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Victoria votes to legalise euthanasia

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Victoria has become the first State in Australia to effectively pass euthanasia into law by a 22-18 vote in the Upper House of its Parliament.

The bill will return to the Lower House where MPs had supported it 47-37.

Euthanasia supporters have hailed the move as a victory for autonomy and personal dignity, but others have expressed their dismay.

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AMA Victoria president Lorraine Baker told The Age:

“The outcome of this parliamentary vote will cause anguish for some members of our profession, as well as the public …

“(The AMA believes doctors should not be involved in) interventions that have as their primary intention the ending of a person’s life”.

The Archdiocese of Melbourne was contacted for comment and said that they would not be responding to the passage of the bill until to the final vote in the Lower House.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, the Archbishop of Sydney and a bioethicist, said he was profoundly disappointed by the move:

“After euthanasia was narrowly held at bay in New South Wales last week, it tragically looks like being passed through parliament in Victoria; this will be the first state-sanctioned killing of Victorians since capital punishment was abolished there in 1975. Lord, have mercy.”

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