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Euthanasia issue not going away: Denton

AAP logoAAP 17/11/2016 Marnie Banger

A fear campaign has killed off South Australia's latest voluntary euthanasia bill but support for the option will not let up, TV presenter Andrew Denton says.

The voluntary euthanasia advocate says the majority of South Australians want help for those dying in pain and their views won't be changed by the bill's defeat in SA parliament's lower house early on Thursday morning.

"The problem is not going away and the members of the house are kidding themselves if they think they've killed it off," Denton told AAP.

"There is no cure for cancer, there is no cure for motor neuron disease, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis.

"All those people who are facing painful deaths are still going to be facing those painful deaths."

The bill, which was the 15th attempt to pass such laws in SA, was defeated on Thursday on the casting vote of Speaker Michael Atkinson after MPs were deadlocked at 23-23 on a conscience vote.

Denton said the "same old arguments" were put forth by voluntary euthanasia opponents during the eight-hour debate.

But he said the close numbers showed more sensible politicians were grappling with the issue.

"Politicians on both sides of the aisle can see that not only is there a need for this law to be written but there is a way to write one that works," he said.

He said Victorian politicians would look at what had happened in SA as they deal with their own push for voluntary euthanasia.

"Ultimately they will have seen this argument can be won," he said.

"This argument can be won and the fear campaigns can be got around by sensible legislation supported by sensible politicians."

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