The push for right-to-die legislation would not be derailed by the defeat of a voluntary euthanasia bill in the SA Parliament, Greens MP Mark Parnell says.
The controversial bill was lost on the voices in a vote in the SA Legislative Council following a lengthy and emotional debate on Wednesday.
It sought to amend the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act to allow a person to request to end their life.
In a statement soon after the vote, Mr Parnell said an identical bill had been introduced to the lower house by Labor backbencher Steph Key, and the debate would continue into the new year.
“Of course we are disappointed the bill didn’t pass the upper house. But this is by no means the end of the debate.
“The bill Steph Key and I have introduced is still very much alive in the lower house.
“It’s time for the lower house to start doing some heavy lifting on this issue.”
Chairman and chief executive of national voluntary euthanasia coalition YourLastRight深圳夜生活会所,, said he believed the defeat of the bill was a temporary setback.
“We are disappointed, but unfortunately some members were insufficiently comfortable with certain provisions of protections in the bill,” he told AAP outside the SA Parliament.
“But Stephanie Key is putting another bill before the lower house in the new year, and hopefully that will be informed by the remarks about Mark Parnell’s bill.”
Other euthanasia bills were expected before the Tasmania and NSW parliaments in 2011, Mr Francis said.
Family First MLC Dennis Hood said the bill was “dangerous” and he was relieved it was defeated.
“Parliament has spoken loud and clear. Voluntary euthanasia for SA has been soundly defeated and should be moved off the agenda,” he said.
“I am grateful that members listened to my concerns and made the decision on conscience to oppose the bill.”
Mr Hood said the bill would have allowed euthanasia for patients that did not have a terminal illness, left psychological referral of patients as an option only and offered a “toothless” Voluntary Euthanasia Board to oversee the practice.
Ms Key and Mr Parnell announced their joint bill in September this year.
At the time, Ms Key said about 80 per cent of Australians supported voluntary euthanasia, and it was time for the SA Parliament to catch up with public opinion.
Mr Parnell said the bill required a patient to be examined by two doctors, including at least one specialist and oversight by a Voluntary Euthanasia Board.
But influential Port Pirie Catholic bishop Gregory O’Kelly was among vocal opponents who said the rise of minor parties had influenced the push fior right-to-die laws.
Euthanasia campaigner and founder of Exit International Dr Philip Nitschke, who also witnessed the debate, said he was “very disappointed”.
He said he was expecting the bill to pass when he arrived in Adelaide, but it became clear during the debate that some MPs had been “influenced” and now expressed doubts about aspects of the bill.
“This has set the process back and it will push people to pursue their own personal strategies rather than wait for a political solution,” he told AAP.