"THE issue will not go away," a defiant Premier Lara Giddings pronounced after the narrow defeat of a bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, co-sponsored by Ms Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim, was rejected 13 votes to 11 last night, as expected.
Three Labor MHAs Michael Polley, Brian Wightman and Brenton Best joined the 10 Liberals against the bill.
"This issue will not go away while there remain people in our community for whom palliative care, no matter how good it is, does not ease their pain and suffering," Ms Giddings said.
A disappointed Mr McKim also vowed not to give up on trying to achieve the law change.
Braddon Liberal MHA Adam Brooks ignored pleas from Ms Giddings to support the legislation to the next stage.
The Liberal backbencher supports the concept in principle, but was not satisfied the legislation contained sufficient safeguards.
While he acknowledged compassion was the primary motivation of the bill, he questioned the message that state- sanctioned suicide would send.
"I'm fearful we're crossing a serious line," Mr Brooks told Parliament.
Ms Giddings pleaded with Mr Brooks to support the bill into committee stage where amendments to strengthen safeguards could be considered.
"Give the debate a chance," Ms Giddings said.
She was confident the process had brought the reform a step closer.
"Achieving major social change is always an incremental process," Ms Giddings said.