Exhausted MPs debate euthanasia in another overnight sitting

The euthanasia debate has again dragged on overnight as exhausted MPs in the Victorian Parliament endured yet another marathon sitting.

By early Wednesday morning the Parliament's upper house had debated 46 of the 141 clauses contained within the assisted dying bill.

It remains unclear when it will go to a final vote in the upper house but supporters of the bill hope it will be resolved on Wednesday.

Last week upper house MPs spent more than 12 hours debating the bill's first clause, which outlines the overall purpose it will serve.

The government had wanted to pass the bill in the upper house last week but Parliament was adjourned after Labor MP Daniel Mulino collapsed and was rushed to hospital after more than 24 hours of continuous debate.

Mr Mulino, who is opposed to the bill, has returned to Parliament.

The government's leader in the upper house, Gavin Jennings, has calmly answered questions on each clause since Tuesday afternoon.

But some of the key opponents to voluntary euthanasia have vowed to continue challenging the bill until it goes to a final vote.

Last week Liberal MPs Inga Peulich and Bernie Finn read long sections of articles and documents in their contributions to the debate, frustrating supporters of the bill who accused them of unnecessarily delaying the final vote by "filibustering".

And Australian Conservatives MP Rachel Carling-Jenkins also said she would continue raising her concerns.

The protracted debate comes after MPs took more than 37 hours and an overnight sitting to pass the bill without amendment in the lower house.

However, the government has been forced to accept some amendments in the upper house to gain enough support to pass the bill. The life expectancy for someone wanting to access the scheme will be reduced from the initial 12 months to six months under the revised terms.

If the bill passes the upper house, it will then return to the lower house in its amended form for a final vote where it is expected to pass easily.

Victoria will be the first state in Australia to allow assisted dying for people with terminal illnesses if the final vote is successful. Access to the scheme will be restricted to Victorian residents who have lived in the state for at least 12 months.

This story Exhausted MPs debate euthanasia in another overnight sitting first appeared on The Age.