Alannah MacTiernan and Richard Di Natale in joint bid to get euthanasia bill through

Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan and Greens Senator Richard Di Natale (left) will co-sponsor legislation to legalise euthanasia across Australia.

Ms MacTiernan, a former state MP in Western Australia, said the matter could not be left to state and territory governments.

''This is something that should be a standard for all Australians,'' she told Fairfax Media.

''People having to shift themselves around the country to find a jurisdiction whose laws they satisfy is a less than satisfactory arrangement.''

Speaking in Parliament earlier on Monday, Ms MacTiernan said politicians had been ''far too timid'' on the delicate issue, despite polls showing strong public support for change to allow people to be legally assisted to die.

She called on supporters of change to make their views known to politicians so Parliament could resolve the issue ''once and for all''.

''We just need more of the population to get out there and say 'this is an issue that really speaks to us and we want you to act on it, we want you to give us that choice','' Ms MacTiernan.

''We should have a choice in those final stages of our lives as to whether we die with dignity or we are required to continue to suffer in pain and agony.''

Senator Di Natale, a medical doctor, has drafted a bill that would allow a terminally ill person to access drugs to end their life.

Under the proposal, the person's condition would have to be verified by two medical practitioners, and the person would have to undergo a mental health assessment to ensure they were of sound mind.

''As a doctor, I've thought about this very carefully. It's an issue I've wrestled with and in the end my responsibility is to relieve people of pain and suffering and if that means choosing the timing of their death, then that’s something I've decided I should respect.''

Senator Di Natale will on Tuesday move for a Senate inquiry on his draft bill.

He hopes to attract co-sponsors from other parties before formally introducing the bill to parliament, and Ms MacTiernan expressed an interest in sponsoring the bill on Monday, saying she and Senator Di Natale were of like mind on the issue.

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