NSW to see euthanasia bill for over 25s

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Draft legislation giving terminally ill patients aged over 25 the right to end their lives with medical help will be introduced into the NSW parliament within months.

The draft Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill would allow patients with reasonable medical judgment and who expect to die within 12 months as well as suffering extreme pain, or physical disabilities to be allowed to choose euthanasia, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Tuesday.

Several safeguards would be in place, including a cooling off period of 48 hours, and the right of close relatives to challenge patient eligibility in court, while two medical practitioners would need to sign off on the final decision, among other requirements.

A cross-party working group of NSW MPs is due to release the draft bill for public consultation on Tuesday, and expect to introduce it to parliament in August.

The working group, including Liberal MP Lee Evans, Nationals MLC Trevor Khan, Labor MLC Lynda Voltz, Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi and independent MP Alex Greenwich, have spent two years consulting about the bill.

A change.org petition seeking support from NSW MPs for assisted dying laws has received the signatures of more than 51,000 people.

The organisation says the petition was started by terminally ill mum Anne Gabrielides, 53, from the Blue Mountains who is battling Motor Neurone Disease.

Supported by her husband Paul and three children, Ms Gabrielides wants politicians to let her die with dignity as she faces the final stages of her illness and will join the cross party working group releasing the bill at Parliament House, pleading with government to not "leave me trapped in a dying body".

A speech pathologist, Ms Gabrielides, has lost her ability to speak and communicate and she has been given a 12 month prognosis, and says she is terrified of an undignified, drawn out and painful death.

© AAP 2017

Image: Bigstock

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