'Death penalty': NSW MPs plead case in euthanasia debate

PERSONAL choice or the reintroduction of the "death penalty".

The New South Wales Upper House is running high with emotion as both sides of government plead their case ahead of a conscience vote for a bill to allow voluntary assisted dying.

The legislation, which was introduced by Nationals MP Trevor Khan, would allow terminally ill patients over the age of 25 to legally end their lives.

And the upcoming vote, which is expected to go down to the wire, is inflaming strongly-held, passionate beliefs.

Liberal backbencher Taylor Martin argued the bill should be looked through a "similar lens" as the now abolished death penalty.

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"One of the main reasons why Australia stopped the barbaric practise of capital punishment is because it is so final," he told the chamber.

"We would not re-consider the death penalty, primarily because we fear the circumstance of having even one innocent person put to death."

Meanwhile, Labor MP Penny Sharpe, holding back her emotions as she recounted a tale of her dying father, said the bill was about "choice".

"(Her father) would not have qualified for assisted dying under this bill, but his death, like all deaths, brings us closer and brings into sharper focus our thoughts about death and dying," she said.

"This bill is fundamentally about choice. For those who wish and need assistance to end their life, the bill provides a rigorous, safe and legal option for them to make that choice."

A vote is expected later tonight or in the early hours of Friday.



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