A BID to give terminally-ill patients the right to end their life in Tasmania will be narrowly defeated this afternoon in another major blow to the state government's social reform agenda.
An emotional debate on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill stretched late into the night, with many MPs sharing moving stories of watching loved ones die.
The debate will continue today before a vote, with 13 MHAs expected to vote against the bill and 11 for.
It is the second time Tasmania has tried to go it alone on a social change and failed, after the Legislative Council defeated same-sex marriage legislation last year.
A third major reform - a push to decriminalise abortion - is still being considered by the Legislative Council.
This is Greens leader Nick McKim's second bid to change the laws to allow voluntary euthanasia, after his Dying with Dignity Bill was defeated 7 to 15 in 2009.
Mr McKim spoke of the promise he made to Robert Cordover, who suffered motor neurone disease and died in 2009, not to give up on the issue.
He had a special message to members who intended to vote in favour of the legislation and supporters in the community.
``I say 10Q'', and made the gesture Mr Cordover had developed as a sign for thank you after he had lost the ability to speak.
Premier Lara Giddings spoke of the experience of caring for her 91-year-old grandmother with her family in her last days.
``The dying process was slow, each injection of morphine we knew was bringing her closer to her death,'' Ms Giddings told Parliament.
They were told one day that this injection of morphine would be the last.
``I believe my grandmother fell into the grey area of the law.''
She urged MPs who philosophically supported the concept but had concerns about the legal framework, to support the legislation to the next stage where amendments could be considered to further strengthen safeguards.
Deputy opposition leader Jeremy Rockliff was the first to speak against the bill, arguing it sent a message that some lives were of lesser value than others.
Mr Rockliff also said it put doctors in an impossible position.
``If we now ask our doctors to become legally-sanctioned agents of death, can they continue to meet their promise to protect and promote the life of their patients?'' Mr Rockliff said.