Tasmania's bid to become the first Australian state to legalise voluntary euthanasia appears headed for defeat in its lower house.
Debate on a private members bill co-sponsored by Labor Premier Lara Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim had thrown up few surprises as it continued on Wednesday night.
A conscience vote was granted by all three parties but Liberal members had all opposed the bill, while several ALP MPs were also expected to vote against it.
Greens members were supporting the legislation.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying bill would introduce highly regulated euthanasia to patients with incurable diseases and experiencing considerable suffering.
Ms Giddings and Mr McKim have said its safeguards, which include three requests from a patient and the consent of two GPs, are the strongest in the world.
They argue polls show 80 per cent of Tasmanians are in favour of the reform and assisted deaths currently occur outside the law.
"The problem is that there are no formal safeguards for patients currently in place, there is no mandatory reporting framework and no legal protection for doctors who are acting in this way," Mr McKim told the House of Assembly.
Ms Giddings told parliament of her elderly grandmother's suffering as family decided against amputation surgery and nursed her to her death.
"After what seemed an eternity we were told this morphine injection would be ... the tipping point that would take her and it was," the premier said.
"We were fortunate to be there as a family when she took her last breath."
Liberal leader Will Hodgman spoke of the recent passing of his father, former federal minister Michael Hodgman.
"I have lived it and I've had people suggest to me also that my father might have wanted for or indeed benefited from legislation such as this," Mr Hodgman said.
"I can say in this case it's not true."
Liberal health spokesman Jeremy Rockliff said the bill asked too much of health professionals.
"The principle that all life is worth preserving will be replaced by an understanding that some lives are not worth preserving," he said.
Euthanasia activist Dr Philip Nitschke flew in for the debate with leukaemia suffering patient Cath Ringwood, who has said she would travel to Tasmania to use the law.
But even if it passes through the lower house, the bill will face an even tougher passage through the state's upper house.
A similar bill introduced by Mr McKim in 2009 was defeated.
The Northern Territory became the first Australian jurisdiction to legalise euthanasia in 1995 before the federal government overturned it.
Euthanasia or assisted suicide is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg as well as in four US states.