ROBERT Cordover began researching ways to die as soon as he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2008.
Seven months later, just weeks before the Tasmanian Parliament debated voluntary euthanasia the first time, he took his own life.
Today his widow Nica Cordover will join other supporters of voluntary euthanasia in the public gallery at Parliament House to watch debate on the Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation, which would give people in Mr Cordover's situation a legal alternative to suicide.
However, the Law Society of Tasmania has raised a last-minute red flag, with vice-president Anthony Mihal writing to MPs yesterday to say there were "fundamental drafting errors" with the legislation which placed a "harsh onus" on doctors and, if unamended, meant it might not operate as intended and was even open to abuse.
Mrs Cordover said her husband's attempts to find a way to hasten his death were rebuffed by three doctors before he turned to the internet.
He communicated his intentions to his family, first verbally and then in written notes when he lost his voice a month after being diagnosed.
"He wrote saying you could take me on a boat and push me out to sea, you could leave me in the bush and I would die of dehydration," Mrs Cordover said.
"He was doing all of that research by himself for the first two to three months of his diagnosis.
"The best palliation he got was the knowledge that he had the means to end his suffering when he thought that it was necessary."
Mrs Cordover said her husband was upset that he could not legally end his life, and she believes he died earlier than he needed to because was concerned he would lose the capacity to take his own life, or that his family would be implicated.
"Had there been legislation in place to allow a doctor to end his life, he would have lived longer," she said.
Personal stories like Mrs Cordover's are expected to populate the emotional debate in the House of Assembly today, which will stretch across two days.
The legislation is expected to fail by at least two votes despite recent surveys commissioned by lobby group Dying with Dignity showing 80 per cent support for voluntary euthanasia in the community.
Representatives from Tasmanian churches, Christian lobby groups and doctors opposed to the proposed reform also be at parliament to watch the debate.