Euthanasia advocate rejects moral argument

Rebecca Chirichiello

A euthanasia advocacy group says politicians can no longer oppose the creation of laws on moral or ethical grounds, after the NSW Minister for Ageing said he wasn't convinced by the case.

Minister John Ajaka told reporters in Sydney he is open to the debate on voluntary euthanasia but is yet to be persuaded.

His comments come following reports a NSW cross-party group is in the final stages of drafting legislation on the issue.

"I'm not yet convinced about it personally," Mr Ajaka said on Monday at the Sydney Opera House at an official NSW event.

"I'm not yet convinced I would vote for such a bill, but I do have an open mind."

Go Gentle spokeswoman Shayne Higson said the group was glad to hear Mr Ajaka has an open mind but that politicians need to move on euthanasia policy.

"This is a serious public health issue and it is no longer acceptable to oppose these laws on moral or ethical grounds," Ms Higson said on Monday.

"All members of parliament should be willing to approach the upcoming debate on assisted dying legislation with an open mind and be prepared to consider all the evidence."

Mr Ajaka said he was concerned about the potential for abuse on the elderly and would be looking closely at safeguard measures.

"I would hate to see in any way this developing into some form of elder abuse and that's something that I would be ensuring does not occur," he said.

"I'm an old lawyer and I've heard the arguments over many years, but I'm also a lawyer who practised extensively in wills and other areas and I do believe at this stage that we need to have a very careful look at it and a careful consideration of it."

Victoria will vote on assisted dying legislation in 2017, with Premier Daniel Andrews saying the experience of his father's death means he will cast his vote in support of change.