MPs prepare for a marathon assisted dying debate
West Australian MPs look set to endure marathon sittings as the government pushes to finally pass voluntary assisted dying laws.
The government's leader in the upper house, Sue Ellery, will move to have the Legislative Council sit overnight both next Wednesday and Friday in the final sitting week for the year.
Ms Ellery says it is a regrettable but necessary move with debate proceeding at a snail's pace in the upper house.
The house has so far debated just 42 of 184 clauses, frustrating the Labor government's hopes of having the legislation passed before Christmas.
Liberal MP Nick Goiran has been a notable thorn in the government's side, moving hundreds of amendments to the bill after it sailed through the lower house.
The staunch conservative sought the call 152 times during debate on Wednesday, according to assisted dying lobby group Go Gentle Australia.
"We wouldn't have to do this if the debate had been conducted earlier on in a more sensible way," Ms Ellery told reporters on Thursday.
"The end is in sight and I am hopeful that by this time next week, we will be close to finishing the bill."
Under the proposed laws, terminally ill adults who are in pain and likely have less than six months to live - or one year if they have a neurodegenerative condition - will be able to take a drug to end their lives if approved by two medical practitioners.
Doctors and nurses will be the only healthcare workers allowed to raise voluntary assisted dying with patients.
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