Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff has told Parliament he will support voluntary assisted dying legislation after having voted against three bills which had dealt with the matter since 2009.
House of Assembly members have started to give their second reading contributions to the bill, developed over two years by Mersey independent MLC Mike Gaffney.
Mr Rockliff was the thirteen member to speak to the bill.
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He said he had been reluctant to support previous bills due to a natural cautiousness and concern for vulnerable Tasmanians.
A Lifeline volunteer of more than 30 years, Mr Rockliff said voluntary assisted dying should not be compared to suicide.
"Dying by suicide can be violent and very lonely and it is preventable," he said.
Mr Rockliff said voluntary assisted dying would give people who were terminally ill and suffering intolerably to say goodbye to their loved ones at their choosing.
He said the bill had been heavily critiqued in the Legislative Council and an expert panel convened by the University of Tasmania to examine the bill would provide an extra level of scrutiny.
Mr Rockliff said he did not regret the position he had taken on previous voluntary assisted dying bills before Tasmanian Parliament.
"There is nothing wrong with being cautious, equally, there is nothing wrong with a change of heart based on sound evidence and empathy," he said.
Labor Braddon MHA Shane Broad said he was conflicted about the 2017 voluntary assisted dying bill which was why he voted against it.
He said those same feelings were not stirred up when considering the current bill before the House of Assembly.
Dr Broad said loose definitions of pain and suffering had been tightened up between the bills and the requirement of a terminal diagnosis provided a significant safeguard against exploitation of the legislation.