Row over end-of-life legislation

ADELAIDE intensive care specialist Peter Sharley doesn't mince words: "This bill has enormous shortcomings. It needs to be dropped. It's not fixable."

The bill in question concerns physician-assisted dying or, more bluntly, voluntary euthanasia.

And as president of the Australian Medical Association's South Australian branch, Sharley has enormous influence over its fate.

Although this bill is state-specific, it raises issues that have ebbed and flowed -- mostly ebbed -- nationwide during recent years as legislators attempt to tackle two intertwined questions: Is voluntary euthanasia ever justified? And, if so, can laws safeguard the dying?

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