Historic laws have passed through the Victorian Parliament to get one step closer to ushering in voluntary assisted dying.
In a marathon sitting session, which lasted 26 hours, the bill passed through the Upper House with 22 votes for and 18 against.
Credit: Network TEN
Even though the bill had already passed through the Lower House, it will now have to go back there after a series of amendments were made to the wording of the legislation.
Once those points are agreed upon, it will become a part of the legislature. That would make Victoria the first state in Australia to legalise assisted death.
Premier Daniel Andrews has written on social media: "We are now one final step away from voluntary assisted dying becoming law. The bill will go to the lower house to confirm the cross-party changes that were made in the upper house.
"Let's remember what we are debating here: the most conservative voluntary assisted dying model that has ever been proposed - let alone implemented - anywhere in the world.
"This legislation is safe. Its purpose is clear. Its time has come."
Credit: Channel 7
Assisted dying will only apply to those who meet a strict set of criteria.
Patients would have to undergo two independent medical assessments, must be over the age of 18, must have lived in Victoria for at least a year, must have a 'sound mind', and the person would have to administer the lethal drug themselves. A doctor can technically deliver it in very rare circumstances.
While motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis aren't technically terminal conditions, sufferers in their final 12 months will be able to access voluntary assisted dying.
Despite those specific rules, it appears the legislation has been a shock to some politicians, including former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy hugged supporters in parliament when the vote was finalised. Credit: Channel 7
Speaking to Macquarie Radio, Mr Abbott said: "People's lives have to be respected and this idea that we should end the lives of people who have failed our test of usefulness or have failed our test of what constitutes a decent quality of life is absolutely dead wrong. I hope that a future Victorian Parliament might reverse this.
"Doctors should be healers, they should never be required to be killers."
But the Premier doesn't see it that way, telling reporters: "It's about providing for those who have for too long been denied a compassionate end the control, the power over the last phase of their journey.
"It's about giving to them that control."
The amended bill will head back to the lower house next week and, if passed, could be law within 18 months.
Featured Image Credit: Channel 9