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SA premier 'gutted' by euthanasia defeat

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says he's "gutted" by the defeat of a voluntary euthanasia bill that was the 15th attempt to pass such laws in the state.

Mr Weatherill said he respects the decisions of MPs early on Thursday, with the bill defeated by one vote in the lower house but is personally "incredibly disappointed".

The bill had earlier passed a second reading vote, the first time such legislation had got so far.

"I put an enormous amount of effort into this, I persuaded my colleagues to give government time for this," Mr Weatherill told ABC radio on Thursday.

"I'm persuaded by the palliative care specialists who say that this just represents another option that can be provided.

"It is about dignity and control and frankly about preventing extending suffering."

Opposition Leader Steven Marshall, who like Mr Weatherill voted in favour, said the parliament had given the bill its "full consideration" and he thought it had reached an acceptable form.

"I'm not someone who believes strongly that under any circumstances we should have voluntary euthanasia," he said.

"But I do believe that if adequate safeguards can be put in place and there is very limited application to this, it can be a valuable resource to people at that end of life."

He said that unless an MP had a change of heart, the issue was unlikely to be reconsidered until the makeup of SA's parliament changed.

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