The fight to pass voluntary assisted dying laws in Western Australia is almost over but experts agree the implementation will be a complex and lengthy process.
Having passed through the upper house with more than 50 amendments, the Labor government's bill will return to the lower house next Tuesday for final approval.
That is considered to be a formality, paving the way for WA to become the second Australian state after Victoria to legalise voluntary assisted dying.
Implementing the scheme will be a complex process in itself and one that is expected to take at least 18 months.
Under the proposed laws, terminally ill adults who are in pain and likely have less than six months to live - or one year if they have a neurodegenerative condition - will be able to take a drug to end their lives if approved by two medical practitioners.
Doctors and nurses will be the only healthcare workers allowed to raise voluntary assisted dying with patients.
Labor backbencher Adele Farina, who voted against the bill, criticised the government's handling of the legislation and noted the specific substance that eligible patients would take to end their lives was yet to be revealed.
"We are being asked to pass a bill that will permit a lethal substance to be prescribed to people ... without knowing its likely side effects and the possible complications that people may experience," she said during the upper house debate.
Liberal MP Michael Mischin suggested "much of the basic work" was yet to be done and it could be at least two years before the laws came into effect.
Australian Medical Association state president Andrew Miller, who successfully fought for amendments to the bill and will serve on the implementation panel, said teasing out exactly how the scheme would operate would be crucial.
"Our job is not yet done," Dr Miller said last month.
"Just as important as the legislation will be the implementation of guidelines and processes which will occur if this bill is enacted."
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Australian Associated Press