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Vic MPs face heart and mind battle

AAP logoAAP 8/12/2016 Angus Livingston

If Victoria legalises assisted dying it will be after both the hearts and minds of MPs have been won over.

Plenty of MPs supported the idea of limited voluntary euthanasia in 2008 but voted against it because the technical parts of the legislation weren't right.

Others voted it down because their conscience wouldn't allow it.

Hearts and minds can change.

Premier Daniel Andrews was once a health minister worried cash-strapped hospitals would limit care to terminally ill patients if they were allowed to kill themselves.

But watching his father Bob fight a long, slow battle with cancer brought a change of mind.

Sex Party MP Fiona Patten had a laissez faire approach, leaning towards voluntary euthanasia whenever people wanted it.

But listening to the fears of vulnerable people worried that their families could kill them made her realise there should be strong safeguards.

Liberal MP Ed O'Donohue opposed assisted dying but changed his mind after sitting on the committee looking into it.

Other MPs have strong religious and personal reasons to oppose it - but this time around the legislation will be as strong as it can be.

With a properly drafted bill giving MPs peace of mind, the decision will be down to their hearts and their conscience.

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