NSW becomes last state to legalise voluntary assisted dying

By Anna Macdonald

May 20, 2022

Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

NSW has made voluntary assisted dying legal in the state, making it the last state to do so.

Introduced by independent minister Alex Greenwich, the legislation allows for the health secretary to approve in writing the administering of a chemical to cause a patient’s death. 

Greenwich took to Twitter to express his gratitude for the legislation passing. 

There has been criticism of the legislation passing, notably and unsurprisingly coming from the Catholic Church.

The archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, called it a ‘dark day’ in a statement.

“If a civilisation is to be judged by how it treats its weakest members, the NSW parliament has failed miserably and has set a dark and dangerous path for all posterity, determining a new and disturbing definition of what it means to be human,” Fisher said.

The archbishop thanked those who voiced their opposition to the legislation. 

Victoria was the first state to pass legislation legalising voluntary assisted dying, then Western Australia. Laws in Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland are set to come into effect either this year or the next. 

Voluntary assisted dying is not legal in either territory.

Prime minister Scott Morrison has said if the Coalition is re-elected he won’t give the Northern Territory or the ACT the option to vote on voluntary assisted dying, according to the ABC.

Morrison describes himself as a Pentecostal Christan, which is a separate branch of Christianity from Catholicism. 

As previously reported by The Mandarin in October last year, people were travelling between states where voluntary assisted dying is legal, skirting around commonwealth rules.

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