Tasmania remains on track to pass voluntary assisted dying legislation when it resumes next year with MPs voting 17-7 in favour of progressing past second reading speeches to the bill.
Two days of emotional debate wrapped up in the lower house on Friday in what was the last sitting day in the chamber, with a final vote now expected in March.
With Liberal members allowed a conscience vote on the matter, some MHAs including Jeremy Rockliff and Roger Jaensch expressed a change of heart in supporting the bill.
Labor and Green members voted unanimously in favour.
In the end, those opposed were Liberal MHAs Guy Barnett, Elise Archer, Mark Shelton, Felix Ellis, Michael Ferguson, Jacquie Petrusma and independent Madeleine Ogilvie.
Bass Liberal MHA Sarah Courtney, who had carriage of the legislation, said it marked a historic vote.
"I am uplifted by what can be achieved by the very end of a year like no other," she said.
"A year that has tested all of us. A year that has defined me and made me proud to be a Tasmanian."
Ms Courtney said she wanted it to be legal for an individual to have choice to access voluntary assisted dying, as well as the choice to say no.
"The role of Parliament is to put in legislation that protects our most vulnerable and ensure the standards and protocols legislated protects community expectations," she said.
"It is not our role to make legislation that removes choice."
If supported next year, Tasmania will become the third Australian state to pass voluntary assisted dying legislation.
As previously indicated by Premier Peter Gutwein, further consideration of the bill will continue as the first order of business when Parliament resumes in March.
But opposing views remain.
While supportive of the freedom of choice, Mr Shelton indicated he might change his position on the bill at the final vote. He said he would reserve the right to vote against voluntary assisted dying on the third reading.
"I find myself not having, from a principle point of view all my life, I went with the right to choose," he said.
"However, as a legislator what I need to be conscious of and make sure of is that from a community point of view, whatever I am voting for is actually the right thing for the community.
"From a legislator point of view, I want to make sure that there aren't any unforeseen circumstances."
Mr Shelton said he was concerned about the unintended consequences for younger Tasmanians.
"I worry about what it means.
"This is a fundamental shift in the thought processes of how society looks at death and where we go in the future," he said.
"Will it mean a big change, or will society just accept it? I worry about our youth suicide rate and that's way too high at the moment."
It was a sentiment echoed by Mr Ellis, who said he was concerned the Parliament was about to make a very grave mistake.
"I can't help in my heart of heart but be overwhelmed by the sense that our Parliament sits on the cusp of a terrible oversight that will endanger the lives that we should be taking extra special care to protect," he said. "Today I want to life up there voices."
Mr Ellis said despite its reviews, the bill did not contain enough safeguards to protect the vulnerable including older Tasmanians, Indigenous Tasmanians, those living with mental illness or disabilities.
Meanwhile, Labor MHA Anita Dow, who previously worked as a palliative care nurse, got emotional as she recalled her experiences assisting people during some of their most difficult and vulnerable times.
While supportive of the bill, she said the implementation of VAD must not result in any decreased funding or support for palliative care services.
"Palliative care and voluntary assisted dying are not mutually exclusive and it would be wrong to suggest otherwise," she said.
Ms Dow said the VAD debate had encouraged the community to express their views and had started a much-needed conversation around death and choice.
Also in support of the bill, Mr Jaensch admitted to the shame he had felt for assuming the views of others when it came to voluntary assisted dying.
The Human Services Minister, who had previously voted against the bill, said he had come to the position that the only way to accommodate the diversity of views in law, was to give people the right to exercise a choice - not to make it for them
"Our people have widely differing and sometimes surprising beliefs and experiences and opinions," he said.
"On this matter more than most, Madam Speaker, I have been struck by how many people have surprised me with their views.
"Both what they are and their boldness in declaring them.
"I have been ashamed of myself for at times having dared to assume what other people think, or what their life experience has been."
Mr Jaensch said most of the heartfelt messages he had received in support of the bill had come to him from older, church-going, Liberal Party members.
"These views have come across the socioeconomic, political faith spectrum," he said.
"This is not political, this is a deeply personal thing. When it's impossible to find comprise, the best approach is to offer choice."
However, Mr Ferguson stood firm in his opposition to the legislation.
Despite what the bill attempts to offer, he said it was a bad law for older people, for young people and was "an affront to our attempts to prevent suicide in Tasmania".
Confirming his Christian beliefs, he said he found it interesting that faith and religion had been repeatedly brought into the debate, including claims from Mike Gaffney that religious groups should not be able to influence policy making in Australia.
Though only permitted to use a casting vote when the house is divided, Speaker Sue Hickey also proclaimed her in principle support as a matter of precedence.
Speaking in the third person, Ms Hickey said that had she been allowed to vote, she would have passionately supported this bill as "she has been a long believer in the right to die with dignity".
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