Legalising voluntary assisted dying would be a Rubicon moment for NSW, member for Albury Justin Clancy told parliament.
"This is legislation that provides state-sanction for those involved in the taking of a life," he said.
Mr Clancy, who will vote against the bill, said he has heard from people on both sides of the debate with irreconcilable opinions.
He acknowledged some people in the electorate would be disappointed with his decision, while others would be relieved and said should he have made the opposite decision the same would be true.
"I adopt the sentiment of [philosopher] Edmund Burke, your representative owes you not his industry only but his judgement and he betrays you instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion," he said.
"What is it that has changed in our society in this generation that steers our course in a different direction on a core principle to the generations that precede us?
"After all the mechanisms for effecting the end of a life have long been available to us..."
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The MP clarified his decision was based on principle, not religion.
"Opposition to this bill is not about religion it is about the civilisational ethic that should be at the heart of our secular society," he said.
"The concerns I express are shared by people of any religion and of no religion.
"In public life it is the principles that matter, they define the norms and values of a society and in this case the principles concern our view on human life itself.
"It is a mistake for legislators to act on the deeply held emotional concerns of many when that involves crossing a threshold that will affect the entire society in perpetuity."
Mr Clancy expressed concern the laws would expand.
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